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A cartographic history of why North, not East or South, is up

How the north ended up on top of the map is an article by Nick Danforth, author/curator of (The/Mid) Afternoon Map blog, detailing how the north-up orientation came to be the default orientation, looking beyond Eurocentrism to Byzantine monks and Majorcan Jews who set the path for modern cartography. If you want more information, you might enjoy the Wikipedia article on the history of cartography, or you can really dig deep with the three-volume text, The History of Cartography, which is available in full from the University of Chicago Press online, split into individual PDFs for each chapter. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 18, 2014 - 28 comments

An old view of the Old City

What did Palestine look like in 1896?
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 15, 2014 - 17 comments

Euphoria, panic, and delusions: Stendhal, Paris and Jerusalem Syndromes

Marie-Henri Beyle was a French novelist, better known by his pen name Stendhal. Though he is now known for his acute analysis of his characters' psychology and he is considered one of the earliest and foremost practitioners of realism, during his lifetime his reputation was largely based on his books dealing with the arts and with tourism. He is also notable for personal experiences he recorded in Naples and Florence: A Journey from Milan to Reggio. There he wrote that his "heart was beating fast at the thought of entering Florence," then when in the Basilica of Santa Croce, he "experienced the most intense pleasure art has ever bestowed upon me ... a sort of ecstasy." Later, he "was seized with a fierce palpitation of the heart;" he "walked in constant fear of falling to the ground." This was the first recorded case of hyperkulturemia, also known as the Stendhal or Florence Syndrome, a psychosomatic reaction to art and/or scenes of beauty. Similar psychosomatic experiences have been recorded in Paris and Jerusalem, though the former largely linked to cultural shock and disconnect at the imagined and real Paris, while the latter most often associated with evangelical Christian tourists who are overwhelmed by their experiences and come to believe they are the Chosen One. The good news for people who suffer from any of these syndromes: the symptoms generally diappear once the person leaves the location or region that set off the psychosomatic illness.
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 28, 2013 - 19 comments

One Wish Jerusalem

Shot in one day, in Jerusalem, we invited everyone who passed to share a wish ... One Wish Jerusalem משאלה אחת ירושלים واحد يرغب القدس [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on Apr 22, 2013 - 15 comments

drawroF

Forward by Messe Kopp is a clever one shot video filmed then reversed to a very neat effect. [via]
posted by quin on Mar 20, 2013 - 17 comments

"He is no longer his own person."

The Checkpoint. An essay which looks inside the conflicted mind of an Israeli soldier, stationed at a West Bank checkpoint. By Oded Na'aman, currently a student in the Philosophy PhD program at Harvard University, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces from November 2000 to October 2003. Mr. Na'aman is also a member of Breaking the Silence, a website that gathers and publishes anonymous testimonials from IDF soldiers -- combat veterans -- about their experiences and the realities of life in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
posted by zarq on Jul 24, 2012 - 6 comments

Only in Israel

The Dealers is a new Israeli crime comedy, released here this weekend. The poster features the film's central players sitting around a table loaded with booze, weed, bongs, joints and other drug paraphernalia. For the stricter populace of Jerusalem, a modified version of the poster was prepared, one which removes all trace of... You guessed it: Women. The pot and booze? Untouched. [more inside]
posted by Silky Slim on Jul 22, 2012 - 47 comments

Borders. Security. Refugees. Jerusalem.

The Atlantic is in the middle of a four-part special report on the Israel / Palestinian peace process, called "Is Peace Possible?" which features multimedia presentations on and analyses of what they believe are the four core issues of the conflict: Borders, Security, Refugees, and Jerusalem. (The latter two will be released on Monday, November 7 and 14th, respectively) The report was put together in collaboration with the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 1, 2011 - 21 comments

Kutiman Mixes Jerusalem

"In this piece I didn't browse YouTube, I actually wandered around Jerusalem, met with musicians and filmed them." New music/video from Kutiman - Thru Jerusalem.
posted by pashdown on Jun 17, 2011 - 14 comments

The ladder of no opportunity.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, built on or close to Golgotha, has a very interesting administrative structure, formalised in an 1852 Ottoman Status Quo edict. Illustrative of the bureaucratic strictures on management of the church is this ladder, immovably stuck on an upstairs window. But wait, did somebody move it? via
posted by wilful on Jun 1, 2011 - 56 comments

The Palestine Papers

Al Jazeera has obtained a large volume of official documents concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The confidential files, to be released in the coming days, were shared with The Guardian.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 23, 2011 - 112 comments

"People are so mean on the internet." - Complaints Choir of Chicago

The Complaints Choir phenomenon, started by the Finnish artists Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen, has spread all over the world since last we paid it any attention, from Birmingham to Helsinki, Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Poikkilaakso, Bodø, Penn State, Canada, Juneau, Gabriola Island, Sointula, Jerusalem, Melbourne, Budapest, Malmö, Chicago, Florence, Copenhagen, Vancouver (2), Philadelphia, Sundbyberg, Milano, Åland, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Basel, Umeå, Ljubljana, Gdansk, Arizona State University, Washington, DC, Horace Mann School, Durham-Chapel Hill, Auckland, Toronto theatre students, Kortrijk, Cairo (2), St. Pölten, Maribor, Port Coquitlam, Ústí nad Labem, Columbus & Kauhajoki (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). For more information, including a 9 step guide to forming your own complaints choir, go to the Complaints Choir website. Finally, here's the Singapore Complaints Choir, whose performance was banned by the Singapore government.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 19, 2010 - 40 comments

The city that sits alone, with a wall in its heart

Mountain air, clear as wine
And the scent of pines
Brought by the twilight breeze
With the sound of bells
Shortly before the Six Day War of 1967 an amateur singer performed [YT] an elegy for the then-divided city of Jerusalem "locked in a dream ... with a wall in its heart". [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia on May 21, 2009 - 8 comments

Historical Maps of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Holy Land Maps and Ancient Maps of Jerusalem both showcase parts of Eran Laor Cartographic Collection. Both collectiona can be browsed by cartographer and date. Here are some of my favorite maps: 1497 perspective map of Jerusalem, Jacotin's 1818 map of Nazareth, Jordan and Acre, 1685 perspective map of Jerusalem, 1482 Ptolemy of the Middle East, 1751 map of Egypt, Arabia and the Middle East and 1928 perspective map of Jerusalem (complete with Hebrew guide). [Another part of The Eran Laor Cartographic Collection previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Kattullus on Mar 2, 2009 - 5 comments

Herod's Temple

Herod's Temple, originally an expansion on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD. Now a retired farmer has spent 30 years building a scale model of it
posted by Deflagro on Feb 28, 2009 - 34 comments

The True Story of Chanukkah

Chanukkah is the story of a group of warriors (the Maccabees, later the Hasmoneans, led by Mattathias) who rose up against the Greeks (the Seleucids), united the Jews, reclaimed the Temple (Beit HaMikdash), and then lit one day's supply of oil which miraculously lasted for eight days, started a brand new holiday called Chanukkah, and brought Jewish sovereignty and peace to the land of Israel. Except that almost every part of that story is either wrong or completely misleading. [more inside]
posted by andoatnp on Dec 21, 2008 - 66 comments

Back to Jerusalem

Chinese Christians in House Churches throughout the country have heard "a call from God for the Chinese Church to preach the Gospel and establish fellowships of believers in all the countries, cities, towns, and ethnic groups between China and Jerusalem. This vision is no small task, for within those nations lay the three largest spiritual strongholds in the world today that have yet to be conquered by the Gospel: the giants of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism." They call this movement Back to Jerusalem.
posted by afu on Mar 20, 2007 - 79 comments

David's Palace "Discovered"

Archaeology in Israel has long been politicized. Perhaps never more than in recent years, when minimalist critiques of the Biblical Kingdom of David have found a ready audience in Muslims eager to deny a historical connection between modern Jews and the land of Israel. Even sober, scholarly discussions of chronology inevitably resonate with political implications.

So it should come as no surprise that the Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar's recent announcement that she may have discovered the foundation of King David's palacepdf in an area south of the Haram al-Sharif was funded, in large part, by the Ir David Foundationflash/sound and the neo-conservative Shalem Center.
posted by felix betachat on Dec 7, 2006 - 17 comments

Israeli Indiepop

World Shortage Of Lo-Fi Israeli Indiepop Finally comes to an end , say Experts.
posted by sgt.serenity on Nov 2, 2005 - 23 comments

Salah-ad-Din, legend and modern context

Saladin (Salah-ad-Din) is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the latest less than great Hollywood historical epic. A leader who seems to have viewed war as the means to a more perfect peace, his namesake now belongs to the Iraqi provence containing Tikrit, his birthplace and a city now all too familiar to us. The modern context of his story is important and obvious.
posted by fatllama on May 7, 2005 - 27 comments

Empowering Children Through the Art of Photography

Kids with Cameras (warning, embedded QT video in link)
With an Oscar Nominated documentary, Born into Brothels, under her belt, Zana Briski's spinoff project, Kids with Cameras, teaches children growing up in difficult circumstances the art and skills of photography to empower them to appreciate the beauty and dignity of their own expression.
With projects in Calcutta, Haiti, Jerusalem and Cairo, they send great photographers to lead workshops, the children are given inexpensive 35mm cameras to capture whatever they choose and then the children's pictures are shown (and sold) around the world through exhibits, books and film.
posted by fenriq on Feb 27, 2005 - 7 comments

But where are the Frenchmen?

They come in quest of the Grail. Some people believe the Holy Grail is hidden someplace in or beneath this small fifteenth-century chapel near Edinburgh. Or maybe it contains other knowledge and relics acquired by the Knights Templar in Jerusalem. Or perhaps . . . well, there's not much that someone at some time has not believed about Rosslyn Chapel.
posted by Man-Thing on Sep 11, 2003 - 20 comments

Meetings with Inhumanity

The life of an Israeli paramedic. "The worst thing in the terror attacks, in my point of view, is to see young babies, who have done no harm," he said. "If they are alive, shouting, burns all over their body. They are experiencing pain, very big pain. There is no stronger pain than having burns."
posted by darren on Jun 11, 2003 - 79 comments

The only moral and practical answer

The only moral and practical answer that there has ever been to this question: partition, territorial compromise, a two-state solution, the establishment of a Palestinian state in most of the occupied territories with security arrangements in the Jordan Valley and identity arrangements in Jerusalem. An analysis that I can live with from The New Repuclic.
posted by semmi on Apr 7, 2002 - 8 comments

Elvis: a sign of the coming of the Messianic Age?

Elvis: a sign of the coming of the Messianic Age? Yup, Elvis Memphimus Rex Rocandrollus. He has his own shrine in Jerusalem. And now Schmelvis resurrects the King. (Not to be confused with Schelvis , though, a tasty treat of a different order).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen on Apr 1, 2002 - 11 comments

Promises

Promises "What is it really like to live in Jerusalem? PROMISES offers touching and fresh insight into the Middle East conflict when filmmakers Shaprio, Goldberg and Bolado travel to this complex and charged city to see what seven children — Palestinian and Israeli — think about war, peace and just growing up." airs tonite (check your local listings) i've seen a few POV documentaries before and they were pretty good.
posted by kliuless on Dec 13, 2001 - 3 comments

Email romance led Israeli teenager to his death?

Email romance led Israeli teenager to his death? A classic honey-trap given a modern twist. Awful, just awful.
posted by holgate on Jan 18, 2001 - 4 comments

No surprise here...

No surprise here... Am I the only one on this planet who realizes that despite how beautiful it may be in the eyes of some, and how historically significant it may be, they're just fighting over sand? Am I the only one who sees this? Am I missing something here? [more]
posted by ZachsMind on Jul 25, 2000 - 28 comments

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