It’s 7am in the Nablus Old City and a warm light glows from the winter sky above. This enclave, avoided both by the (non)authorities of the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Defense Forces, becomes the furthest place away from the ensuing violence and occupation.
One by one, the few shops which will operate until midday, crack open the metal doors guarding from the almost non-existent crime in the city. Even then, most of the places remain closed throughout the day.
Nablus, the ancient city otherwise known by the Jews as Shechem, greets any Friday morning wanderer with an empty palette. It’s free from never-ending price shout-outs, hundreds of simultaneous haggles, pre-rolled cigarette smoke and the street-cat gangs roaming around.
Passing by yet another Martyr poster, the almost-daily celebratory AK and pistol fire seems seemingly detached from this morning experience. No one is being buried and no one is being released from the prison.
Hours pass and the midday calls to prayer fill the cobbled streets in the souq. Soon after, with the afternoon sun in the sky, the thunder of Israeli fighter jets shakes the remaining calm away.