The Spice Merchant of Jerusalem
Amid the bombs and the mayhem
a vestige of humanity in the Old City of Jerusalem


I was on my way back from covering a press conference at the Sydney Olympic Park when the mobile phone rang. It was the sub editor, Denes Bolza. "Arthur, did you ever know a chap called Mohzen Hijazi while you were in Jerusalem?" "Sure," I replied, mystified. "He is an old spice-merchant, a 'attar', in the Old City. Why do you ask?" "Well, looks like he's gone and got himself blown up," he said, matter-of-fact. "What was that again?" "I just told you. I don't have all the details. The news bulletin which landed on my desk gives just the bare outlines of another suicide bomb attack on a bus in downtown Jerusalem. Apparently Hijazi was one of the passengers and got blown up. Was he a friend?" "More than a friend, Denes. Much more." "I'll fax you a copy of the report if you want." "Thanks, Denes."
© Copyright Arthur Hagopian 2016