A Palestinian youth jumps with his skateboard on a rooftop as the Dome of the Rock located on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount is seen in the background, as Israel partially lifts its third national lockdown to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, in Jerusalem's Old City
A Palestinian youth jumps with his skateboard on a rooftop as the Dome of the Rock is seen in the background in Jerusalem's Old City
Photo: Reuters
A Palestinian youth jumps with his skateboard on a rooftop as the Dome of the Rock is seen in the background in Jerusalem's Old City

High above Jerusalem's crowds, skating the Old City rooftops

Palestinian youth, lacking facilities at the eastern half of the capital, descend on the city's medieval alleyways and skateparks, relishing the chance to release pent-up frustrations of COVID lockdown

Reuters |
Published: 02.09.21 , 18:32
High above Jerusalem's narrow medieval alleyways, teenage Palestinians sped across whitewashed roofs and soaked up the light and space denied to them during a six-week COVID-19 lockdown.
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  • A small handful who lived in the Old City were able to practice their moves long before the spice merchants below reopened their doors.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    A Palestinian youth jumps with his skateboard on a rooftop as the Dome of the Rock located on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount is seen in the background, as Israel partially lifts its third national lockdown to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, in Jerusalem's Old City
    A Palestinian youth jumps with his skateboard on a rooftop as the Dome of the Rock located on the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount is seen in the background, as Israel partially lifts its third national lockdown to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, in Jerusalem's Old City
    A Palestinian youth jumps with his skateboard on a rooftop as the Dome of the Rock is seen in the background in Jerusalem's Old City
    (Photo: Reuters)
    They were joined after the lockdown eased by a couple of dozen friends from other parts of East Jerusalem who relished the chance to release pent-up frustrations.
    "During coronavirus (lockdown) we weren’t able to go out and skate or do anything," said Baha’Shweiki, 17, from the al-Turi neighborhood. "We have been waiting every day to get the opportunity to go out."
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    Palestinian youths hold their skateboards while standing on a rooftop, as Israel partially lifts its third national lockdown to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, in Jerusalem's Old City
    Palestinian youths hold their skateboards while standing on a rooftop, as Israel partially lifts its third national lockdown to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, in Jerusalem's Old City
    Palestinian youths hold their skateboards while standing on a rooftop in Jerusalem's Old City
    (Photo: Reuters)
    With few training resources and little space in East Jerusalem, most learn their skills from YouTube.
    But the rooftops are rutted and they often tumble over ventilation shafts and guttering.
    3 צפייה בגלריה
    A Palestinian youth skateboards as Israel partially lifts its third national lockdown to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, at a skate park in Jerusalem
    A Palestinian youth skateboards as Israel partially lifts its third national lockdown to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, at a skate park in Jerusalem
    A Palestinian youth skateboards at a skate park in Jerusalem
    (Photo: Reuters)
    So sometimes the group - most boys but with some girls - cross over into West Jerusalem to practice in a purpose-built park used by Israeli skateboarders, with ramps and runs far smoother than they are accustomed to.
    "We saw that there are Arabs who skateboard, so we decided to do it too, try it and improve," said Shweiki.

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