My neighbourhood is on fire

My neighbourhood is on fire. What sticks in my mind? Waking up to the news that a huge building in my area is on fire? Realising that people have died and many more will be traumatised for life by their near escape? Realising that this building is right next to my old primary school and…

Seeing angels

I stopped because I needed to catch the scent of the blossom and because tiredness and sadness were making my feet too heavy to move. The old man shuffled down Harlesden High Street in comfortable robes and an embroidered fez-like hat that looked made for Eritrean weather not this chilly spring day. Leaning on his…

For life, not just for Christmas

Last week, I stood in the not-so-little town of Bethlehem looking up at the city’s dividing wall. Though somewhat beautified by thought-provoking art, it’s still a powerful symbol of injustice and makes daily life horrific for many. But then, as the sun rose at the start of today, I listened to the happy news that the UN…

Holy Land?

“Please leave the flowers here for others to enjoy”, read the pretty ceramic notice in the garden where Jesus may (or may not) have been buried. Although somewhat sad that this sign was necessary, it was unsurprising. So many people here seem to want a piece of Jesus and for some nicking these flowers is…

A washed-out utopia

Rain in Jerusalem is properly wet. It’s that alive kind of rain which bounces off the pavements, causes water to cascade down the streets, and feels more like someone is emptying a bucket rather than gently watering the world. It’s the kind of rain that totally justifies sheltering for a while in the peaceful dryness…