'Anata-Shu'afat, Abu Dis, Container (Wadi Nar), Sheikh Saed, Silwan, Wed 7.11.12, Morning

Idit S., Oren (guest) Anat T. (reporting)





7:50 Sheikh Saed Checkpoint
From a distance, we observe a line of men waiting to cross, but during our stay crossing was fast, and children were given priority, without unnecessary checking of documents.
The U.S. election results interest no one here.  Oren is collecting materials for his doctoral dissertation, at the University of San Francisco, on the social and cultural effects of the    checkpoints in Arab Suwahara neighbourhoods, including Sheikh Saed, Jabal Mukhaber, Suwahara Al-Arabia and Suwahara Al-Sharkiya, which explains why in many ID's of Sheikh Saed residents it says that their place of residence is Suwahara, although they live in Sheikh Saed.
8:00 Drive through Silwan
No change in the traffic through Wadi Hilweh, and no checks or checkpoints.  Cars park on both sides of the road; the parking lot below is full of construction rubble and there is little room for cars, an oddity considering the parking distress in the neighbourhood.
Excavations in the Givati parking lot continue.  The people from the Antiquities Authority report that a very large Roman building has been exposed and will be open to the public.  What happened to the Muslim remnants along the way?
8:30 Anata/Shuafat Checkpoint
We got stuck in dreadful traffic and arrived too late.   Filth everywhere, and the gate for special bussing is now closed.  The correct hours to be here are between 7 and 8.  Traffic flows unimpeded and there are almost no pedestrians.
9:00 Wadi Nar
Despite our apprehensions we come across only one dog at the checkpoint.  In reply to our questions, the soldiers tell us that the dogs are "above" and "they protect us from strangers entering the checkpoint."
The army spokesperson's document regarding the completely civilian nature  of the checkpoint surprises the soldiers.  We give them a copy of the document for their perusal.
During our stay no vehicles were stopped and traffic flowed without interruption.