Yavar Hameed

Down the rabbit hole

There are stairs, which descend from Jaffa Gate to another world. When I first saw these stairs, I thought them to be a meeting point — something like the stairs that descend from the main road to Damascus Gate. But these stairs give onto a promenade of stores and cafes and commercial outlets of all sorts. In such stark contrast is this promenade to the Old City, which it leaves behind, that it literally feels surreal. But the Alice in Wonderland phenomenon only intensifies as one proceeds further down the rabbit hole. Yavar Hameed writes from Jerusalem.