Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: A New Biography of the Old City

Jerusalem is under intense pressure. Stories from its Indian and West African communities, its Dom Gypsies, its Islamic Sufi mystics, its Syriac and Armenian churches – all these and others are being overlooked. The women who shaped Jerusalem’s architectural legacy. The artists at work today. Tailors. Coffee-roasters. Social activists. Sellers of silk, books or onions. Jerusalem is not my city, but it’s a privilege for me to be able to amplify Jerusalemite voices, help them to be heard above the clamour.

I am writing a book of stories to help illuminate a walk – on foot, or in the mind – through the Old City of Jerusalem. Titled Nine Quarters of Jerusalem: A New Biography of the Old City, it uses individual voices from the communities who live – and have lived – inside Jerusalem’s walls to explore the city’s sense of itself, challenge prevailing narratives and paint a new, intimately personal picture of social and cultural diversity.

It will be published in 2022 by Profile Books.