Ticket to God © Jens Harder
Security measures are strict in Israel. You are already confronted with questions at the airport. On the streets, you often meet soldiers who are equipped with machine guns. Incidentally, they are allowed to take their weapons home and carry them in their free time and in civilian clothes. Metal detectors and bag controls at the entrances of shopping centers, train stations and sights are also said to provide more security.
Jerusalem is sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. All three major world religions claim a "piece of their history", their holy places: For Jews, it is the Temple Mount; for Christians, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher; and Muslims, the Dome of the Rock.
For unbelievers, the only access to the Temple Mount is via a small wooden passage next to the Wailing Wall. Sometimes, there are more than a million people in the huge square at the Temple Mount: they want to see the golden tip of the Dome of the Rock and visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The fourteen hectare plateau in the east of the old town is just as sacred for Jews as it is for Muslims.
The Damascus Gate is the largest and the most impressive of all gates in the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is on the north side and leads to both the Muslim and Christian quarters. Most Arab residents enter the old town through this gate to go to Al-Aksa Mosque for Friday prayers.
Jonas Engelmann on "Ticket to God"
When engaging with the city, Harder opts for the perspective of an observer with a keen eye who tries to record each and every detail, address every single aspect. Graffiti and murals, the faithful affected by the Jerusalem syndrome, market stalls and construction sites: the accuracy of his eye and his love for detail are impressive."