So what really happens in Jerusalem

If you look at maps from Roman times or the medieval ages, Jerusalem is often placed in the middle of the picture. Today, any stone thrown or any fear of trouble in the holy city almost automatically triggers editors to clear media space.

But what really goes on inside Jerusalem? Under 800,000 residents and less than 130,000 dunam, but with nearly 3 million tourists – what makes this relatively small city tick?

Back in June 1967, the Jerusalem was reunited. Since then, Jewish sites have been restored, the Christian community has grown, Muslims are excavating freely under the Dome of the Rock. OK – all very politically correct, but what else? What brings everybody together, despite the tensions?

The Mayor of Jerusalem issued a press release last week, which revealed how all this freedom is brought together. And I quote extensively:

In the past two years Jerusalem has experienced a cultural revolution. Budgets invested in culture were doubled and the number of cultural events and festivals in the city has tripled. Jerusalem returns to occupy the center of the stage and holds the central and leading cultural and sports events alongside major international events. Jerusalem has become a leader in cultural events in the country and the new cultural and sports complexes established by the city council will serve a large variety of events, starting from concerts held by international performers through hosting the Maccabiah and the leading film, art and theater schools in the country.

 There are many examples of this; a children’s film festival, laying out tourists tracks in the Muslim part of the city, a new international marathon, etc. Later this summer there will be opera and wine festivals. As for education:

In the past two years a number of new schools were opened in the eastern part of the city, adding 500 classrooms to the education system for Arab residents. In 2011 an unprecedented amount of NIS 300 million will be invested in design and construction of 285 classrooms in the eastern part of the city; 75 million NIS were already invested in construction.

 (This academic year), the Jerusalem municipality opened 6 new schools: one national-religious school in Gonenim neighborhood and 2 additional schools (1 national and 1 religious) in Chomat Shmuel neighborhood. The “Abdullah Bin El Hussein” all girls high school was opened in eastern Jerusalem as well as the regional “Ras El Amud” all girls high school.

And if you want some useful / useless facts about Jerusalem, remember that: 

  • More than 140,000 people went to see soccer games in the capital.
  • The word “Jerusalem” in Hebrew appears 20,100,000 times in Google.
  •  The word “Jerusalem” in English appears 67,100,000 times in Google.
  • The average winter temperature in Jerusalem is 12°C degrees and 29°C degrees in the summer.
  • The overall length of roads in Jerusalem is 1,253km.
  • The longest street in the city is Menachem Begin Blvd. stretching to a length of 15.7km.
  •  There are 173,055 meters of footpaths in Jerusalem.
  • There are 28km of highway in Jerusalem.
  • Jerusalem is located in the Mountains of Judea and therefore there are 34.9km of stairs aimed at shortening distances to pedestrians.
  • There are approximately 2000 archaeological sites in Jerusalem.
  • 10,000 runners took part in the Jerusalem marathon, running in 5 different categories.
  • Flowers were planted twice a year in 80 different squares throughout the city, adding color to the city.
  • More than 30 playgrounds were renovated during the past two years.
  • In 2010 2,547 new immigrants settled in Jerusalem. An 11% increase in comparison to the previous year.
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