From my apartment in [West] Jerusalem, I can hear the Muslim call to prayer through the day (and night). I quite enjoy this, though I find it somewhat surprising given my location: I can’t really figure out where the nearest mosque (and, specifically, its minaret) is.
For a couple Fridays now, my neighbourhood has also been home to weekly teachers’ strike rallies. They successfully block pedestrian traffic (and sometimes car traffic) on both sides of the street, bringing the pre-Shabbat bustle of errands and shopping and chatting with friends on the street down to a snail’s pace. Pedestrians bottlenecking as we try to squeeze past the rallying teachers and their supporters.
I noticed something this morning that I hadn’t during previous weeks’ protests: an additional layer of noise. Sure, the protesters have whistles, drums, and shout slogans. And sure, many drivers honk their horns in support. But there was something else there… The call to prayer in time for Dhuhr. At first I took it for a protester with a megaphone, but I quickly recognized it for what it was. The conflicting noises, strikers and faithful, were great, and somehow complemented each other nicely.