Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

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ISRAEL: A day without cars

October 9, 2008 |  3:54 pm

Img_0111Here's a few spare photos from several hours spent riding my bicycle around Jerusalem on Yom Kippur.

The annual holy day completely transforms the country. All stores shut down, and vehicle traffic is banned in most places.

But in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem, it was business as usual.

Stores remained open, and cars moved around normally.


Temporary barricades blocked East Jerusalem drivers from entering the no-car zone of the west side.


With no cars on the roads, Jerusalem's normally crowded streets became pedestrian havens.

Walkers, cyclists and tourists reveled in a city without cars.

Observant Jews headed to synagogues across the city for special Yom Kippur prayers. In some neighborhoods, the sound of chanted Hebrew prayers rang out from multiple directions.

— Ashraf Khalil in Jerusalem

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