Comments from Recent Visitors

"Madeleine gave us an objective view of the people and places we see on the news."

"She is no nonsense, easy to work with, and very flexible. I recommend her highly."

"Madeleine kept our children, 10, 13, 15 yrs interested and engaged (as only a former teacher can), and her depth of knowledge was welcome by the adults in the group."

"We were a diverse group - different ages, religions, athletic abilities - and Madeleine managed to accommodate us all."

"Madeleine gracefully navigated complex issues of faith and culture and we came away with a much better perspective of Jerusalem through 3,000 years of history"

"Madeleine has a talent for listening to what we're interested in and crafting an itinerary that when experienced, flows perfectly while she is open to being flexible and the serendipity of discovery"

"Madeleine was incredible - a huge wealth of information, extremely professional and a wonderful sense of humour"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Old City Personalities - My Mate Yousef

If you happen to be walking along Christian Quarter Road and pass by number 30, stop in and say hello to my friend Yousef Natshe whom I have known for over twenty years. He comes from the esteemed Natshe family of Hebron. To this day his family still produces the hand-blown glass for which the town is famous..
Born in 1958 in the village of Silwan just south of the Old City, Yousef is one of 8 children - 5 boys and three girls. He learned his trade through his late father, a fabric merchant.  Despite hardships - the family lost two homes in Katamon and Baka and a shop in Mahane Yehuda in west Jerusalem after 1948 - he is always positive and has a ready smile.

Yousef has owned his store on the Christian Quarter Road since 2003 but has traded in the Old City since 1973. A father of 4, he lives with his wife, three girls and a boy in the village of Anata close to the northern Jewish neighborhood of French Hill.
While I was sitting with him and drinking a refreshing glass of mint tea, I asked him what his dream was. He told me that he'd like to live on a mountain, somewhere green away from the city.
Feel free to pop in and view some of the rugs and fabrics. His honesty, fair prices and good quality have made him popular with his loyal, local clientele.  There is no pressure and you will always be greeted with a warm smile especially if you tell him that I sent you!

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