Guest Post: Travelling the Pages


Today in the Vault we have Elen writing a guest post about living in Jerusalem! So sit back and let us enjoy!

Top 5 best things about living in Jerusalem and non of them are what you expect
I wrote a funny memoir about the four years I spent living in Jerusalem called “Don’t Shoot! … I Have Another Story to Tell You”. It chronicles the impossible situation of an Iraqi who decided to go live in Israel. I can laugh about it now but it wasn’t funny while I was living it. Despite the hardships, there were beautiful and happy things as well. Here my list of my favorite things that happened as a result of the years spent living in Jerusalem.

1) Hummus
Yes! I am going with that one as my number one. Call me shallow. Call me obsessed with my stomach. I don’t care. There is this one spot called Abu Shukri in the old city in Jerusalem that makes the best hummus in the world. Since then I have tried to recreate the taste at home. As more and more people asked me for the recipe I ended up making a youTube video. The response to the video has been overwhelming. It has gotten views from as far as Japan and I have been told, by many people, that the recipe has changed their life. How could blending chickpeas in a food processor have this effect? Well? You need experience it yourself. Can’t explain the magic.

2) Taught me to appreciate art
I had seen the Sistine chapel with my own eyes and had the privilege to contemplate the enigmatic smile of the Mona Lisa up close and personal. Yet I never truly understood art until a mysterious encounter with a particular painting in Jerusalem. It’s a long story. You can hear me telling it here.

3) Inspired me to write
Living in Jerusalem led me to write a memoire which later inspired me to start writing novels. Creative writing is an immensely fulfilling act and I am grateful that it is a part of my life.

4) I miss being able to start emails with “Greetings From the Holy Land”
It gave my correspondence gravitas. Nothing in my current location could possibly rival that.  At Least I can’t think of anything catchier.

5) When I watch a movie about Christian crusaders its “been there, done that”.
My favorite is Kingdom of Heaven directed by Ridley Scott. All those historical sites come alive in my imagination. I can project myself into the movie because I visited those locations and walked down those paths.



Elen Ghulam is the author of Graffiti Hack-a story about a
hacker on a mission to make the internet beautiful. She is an
Iraqi-Canadian living in Vancouver B.C. Canada.




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