The chief operating officer, Eddie Safadi, of the Three Arches Hotel (the YMCA of Jerusalem) befriended us after our loss and made us feel so very much at home. This man became like a brother to us in the short few days we associated with him. He has an amazing spirit (and he knows everybody in Jerusalem).
We hadn’t made it far before we ran into these three Orthodox Roman Catholic nuns. They were shy of the camera but agreed to let me take a snap.
This woman has spent a good portion of her life dedicated to God here in Jerusalem. The lines on her face have deservedly marked her kindness.
We have met Samuel (a Palestinian) at the Jaffa Gate before selling these sesame bagels of sorts. I never have gotten the true name of them down—whenever I asked what the name of them are, they say, “Bagel.” How about in Arabic? “Bagel.”
Khalid, a Palestinian shop owner, had just had back surgery and couldn’t stand up for the picture. He has been here in Jerusalem most of his life working in the jewelry business. “Business is slow right now,” he said. “May I show you my shop? No charge to look.”
We met this poor fellow along a small, narrow street. He would not give us his name nor did he want to have his picture taken alone. He had Maurine stand in the picture with him.
“Why won’t you give us your name? Just your first name?” (I snapped one of him by zooming a little) “I owe a debt and I cannot pay it. I do not want to be known.” Mortality does that to us, doesn’t it?
This Greek Orthodox is from Belgrade, Serbia and also wanted to not be shot alone. He is among those groups connected to the Church of Holy Sepulcher. Six denominations call that church home: Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, and Ethiopian Orthodox. One ladder has sat against an outside wall and window for many years because agreement cannot be made as to who is in charge of it.
Kevork (goes by George) Kahvedjian is one of the premier photographers in Jerusalem, an Armenian Christian. His father, Elia Kahvedjian, captured some of the classic images of the Holy Land over the years. Elia died in 1999.
Kevork’s shop is named for his father. His photographs are so sought after he has had numerous people who steal them, make copies and he finds that the photos are on sale all over Jerusalem. He stopped fighting this problem years ago.
Kevork told us that his father always said: “You are the light meter, Kevork. Don’t trust the camera. Trust yourself.” I know what he means.
I asked this venerable Moslem man if I could take his picture. His face gave me a slight nod and I took it. The colors in this picture are so rich—and SO Jerusalem. His name is Abujedi. He seemed like he could be a “Jedi.”
The Karakashian Family, Armenian Christians, came to Jerusalem two generations ago. Their ceramic tile work is noted everywhere in Jerusalem. Jacob, the father, shows the process of coloring the tiles with the metallic oxide paint.
Son Stephan loved showing us his tiles. Their family’s work was even featured on the cover of The Friend magazine in November 1998.
The family was commissioned by the city of Jerusalem to do all the street signs in the old city—in Hebrew, Arabic and English. This was a very large contract.
Jacob told us that many times the street signs are defaced or destroyed. “Oh, that is so sad,” we said.
“Yes, it is sad,” he said. “But that’s good business for us!”
I hadn’t made it twenty feet out of the Karakashian family’s Jerusalem Pottery shop when Magid (goes by Mike) stopped me. This Palestinian shop owner desperately wanted me to buy something from him. Business is VERY slow. I said, “If you let me take your picture, I will come in and look.” He agreed.
This man seems to come right out of the times of the Bible. He is Arab and wears the standard Keffiyah headdress. The all-white version like this one can also be called a ghutrah.
Father Angelo comes from the Philippines but has been in Jerusalem for the past twenty years here in this Latin Compound. He recently was reassigned to Jaffa on the Mediterranean and misses it here terribly.
Father Angelo loves the BYU students who come and visit him. He speaks 10 different languages fluently and loves to greet everyone he can in their native tongue. Just while we walked with him for two hours he spoke in six different languages, switching from one to the other without even a slight hesitation.
Father Siles is Ethiopian Orthodox and has also been in Jerusalem 20 years. He let me take his picture and then he said, “God bless you.” By this time I had forgotten about our loss.
This kindly old man agreed to have his picture taken and was very patient with me as I tried to balance, florescent, incandescent and daylight, and capture the essence of where he was sitting in his shop. Our communications were just with nods and grins.
“Mommy, can I go play?” (Among the columns that date back 1500 years to the Byzantine times)?
Ori, a Jewish shop owner, is a weaver of tallits, Jewish prayer shawls. He loves what he does. He talked to us about the twined and knotted fringes known as tzizit attached to the four corners. Tzizit are tied in a total of 613 knots reminding the faithful of the entire code of the law.
This little Jewish boy wears the traditional kippah, or yamaka, a slightly rounded cap worn to cover the top of a boy’s (or man’s) head.
These little Jewish boys were also wearing their kippahs and were having a hard time standing still as I took their picture here in the Jewish Quarter.
The typical Jewish woman in Jerusalem wears a scarf known as a tichel or snood. The Jewish women were the hardest ones to photograph with my small lens.
This man works in the Moriah Book Shop near the Western Wall. I asked if I could take his picture and he gave a small grunting sound that was for me a big “ken” (Yes in Hebrew). He is carefully reading the scriptures that go in the Mezuzahs that are placed on the doorways of the faithful Jews. He never looked up once.
I love this shot. I asked these Israeli soldiers if I could take their picture. They said, “Sure,” and immediately posed for me as you see. Ayala (on the left) and Gutith are about 18 years old and were most interested in seeing the picture after I was done. I showed them and they both said, “Oh! That is very beautiful.” All Israeli males are required to give three years to military service, the females two years.
David is a Jew who helps pilgrims who come to the Western Wall for the first time. His purpose is to teach them of their heritage and remind them of their traditions. He is perfect for the job.
I have taken pictures of many soldiers at The Wall. I ask the soldiers what they pray for. “We pray for peace.”
Leah is a Moroccan Jew with three children who now lives in Jerusalem and will the rest of her life.
This Jewish man was heading to The Western Wall to offer his oblations to God. Many of the Jews who pray at The Wall turn their bodies a little to the north so they can be facing the place where the Holy of Holies once stood.
I couldn’t resist taking a picture of these typical tourists—surely one of the most common sights and among the most common faces of Jerusalem.
This woman, originally from Manila, Philippines, has lived in Jerusalem for six years. She was so excited that her daughter was visiting her. I told her we had recently been to Cebu to our Mormon Temple dedication. She knew of the temple in Manila and then she said, “Every time we go to America we find the Mormons and we love them.”
Simon is an artist and a closet philosopher. His work is wonderful. He told us that America is rich and strong and that we must be careful that we appreciate and remember what we have and that it all came from God. “You have a beautiful wife,” he said to me. “I agree.” “God gave her to you.” I agreed again. Simon’s parents were Moroccan and he was born in a Bedouin tent. “Everyone has a dream of coming to Jerusalem,” he said with a song in his voice, “but if you come here it isn’t because you bought a ticket, it’s because God brought you here.” I asked if he had any advice for America. He said, “You should give 10% to the poor.” I agreed yet again.
We sat down in the Jewish Quarter near the Hurva Synagogue watching the faces of the people as they walked by. I wish we could have heard their every story.
Stephanie Lee, from the Calgary, Alberta area, is a bright light in the Old City. She is a Mormon—you can spot them a mile away. She is studying at the BYU Jerusalem Center.
Ann Barlow from Salt Lake is a BYU-Idaho student out on a stroll, also studying at the BYU Jerusalem Center.
Jocelyn Maughn, from Columbia, Maryland, also let me take her picture. She is another Mormon face in Jerusalem.
Melia Harris from Magrath, Alberta is also studying at the BYU Jerusalem Center.
Jake Steel, also a BYU student, is from Garden City, Kansas. “We’re not in Kansas any more, Toto,” I wanted to say to him.
The Mormons are strictly forbidden from any proselyting whatsoever in Israel. They cannot even answer a question about the Church. When making the agreement with the Church about the BYU students coming to study at the Jerusalem Center, one of the early government officials said, “They cannot proselyte, but I do not know what we will do about the light in their eyes.”
Yehuda, age 2 ½ was undeterred in eating his Popsicle. I wanted to take a picture of his mother, she refused but allowed pictures of her two boys.
Moshe, age 4, already wearing his kippah, did pull the Popsicle out of his mouth for the picture.
We finally made it over to the Moslem Quarter, near the Damascus Gate. With my short lens I parked behind Maurine and shot over her right shoulder. This Muslim woman could not be more typical in dress and looks. I’m sure her mother would disagree.
These two woman caught me and burst into laughter as they saw the lens pointing towards them. Note the hustle and bustle of the Damascus Gate area. I love this part of the city.
This young mother was so gentle and tender with her child. A majority of the Muslim women who walked by us were pregnant (we did our own visual survey). The Palestinians have very large families—seven and eight children and more. The Jews typically have two children or three at most.
I couldn’t resist this face of Jerusalem—a lost American tourist. He looked up and said, “Where’d our group go?” and I shot the picture.
These woman cover their bodies with clothing from head to toes, then they put long black (or dark-colored) coats over all of that.
Some women will use colorful scarves to add to their black outfits.
I had to shoot this picture of the Palestinian women selling grape leaves. Our daughter Mariah loved these women and this is such a part of the Damascus Gate area and the Moslem Quarter of the Old City.
Aiawi (spelled phonetically) has been in business all his life in Jerusalem. When asked if there is a solution to the Palestinian/Jewish conflicts, many will say, “There is no solution.”
I loved this man, the Reverend Gabriel Baddour. He has been a priest in the Greek Orthodox Church for 50 years. His piety was written all over his face. He was so kind and so loving. He said, “You are welcome anytime here.”
This vendor at the Damascus Gate has a face that could launch a thousand (pirate) ships—I could not get him to smile—every shot I have of him was worse than this one. I really liked the man—he had personality and was mainly interested in selling me produce.
This man told me his name twice and I couldn’t get it down. He is a Sikh (obviously) from the Punjab region of Pakistan and was visiting Jerusalem. He had a body guard and his wife and family with him. He was very charming and clearly an important person (aren’t we all?).
These venerable priests were perfectly willing to let me take their picture. I was waiting for their very foreign tongue to talk to me.
“I’m from Boston,” this one said, completely taking me by surprise. “I’ve been here in Jerusalem for many, many years. Every one is surprised when I speak with a Baw-ston accent.” Yep.
“And I’m from West Jordan!” this one said. “There were only two wards in West Jordan when I grew up there.” What a way to end the day of capturing the faces of Jerusalem.
Scot Facer Proctor shot all these pictures with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II using an F4 24-105mm lens.