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Jerusalem, the Holy Captive 

April 23, 20216:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe’s YouTube channel. 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.
In Spanish.

In order to celebrate Book Day, which is held every year on April 23, Casa Árabe and the Península publishing the latest book by journalist Mikel Ayestaran. You can watch it live on our YouTube channel

In the Old City of Jerusalem, seven of the eight gates that provide access to the inside of the walled city are meeting points. The eighth, known as the Golden Gate and located on the eastern side of the Temple Mount, or Esplanade of the Mosques, is also a key gathering point but remains sealed, awaiting the return of the Messiah. When he returns, it will open and the Redeemer will enter through it, followed by the thousands of Jews and Muslims buried in the cemeteries strategically located there, hoping to become the first to follow him. Until the savior returns, it is better to arrange meetings at one of the other seven gates. 

This is a chronicle of Jerusalem, the city where Mikel Ayestaran has lived with his family for years, written in the first person on the basis of tales told by neighbors from all four boroughs in the Old Town (Muslim, Jewish, Armenian and Christian). Through them, the author discusses what life is like in a city captive to its own sacred status, yearned for by Jews, Muslims and Christians alike, a Holy Land in which the past inevitably swallows up the future. 

Mikel Ayestaran (Beasain, Guipuzcoa, 1975) combined his studies with a passion for traveling from a very young age. He took the first steps in his career at El Faro de Ceuta. In 2005, he decided to leave the editorial staff after a decade with El Diario Vasco and chose to try his luck at the experience of working freelance, specializing in current Middle East conflicts while working as a multimedia writer for different media outlets. After spending ten years traveling by backpack, in January 2015 he took up residence in Jerusalem, where he lives with his family, and from there he covers the region for newspapers published by the Vocento group, as well as EiTB, the Basque Country’s public broadcasting company. Winner of the International Press Club Award (2009), the Basque Journalist Award (2015), the José Manuel Porquet Award for Digital Journalism (2016) and the Manu Leguineche International Journalism Award (2017), as well as others, he is also a partner and co-founder of the international information collective known as 5W. He authored the best-seller Oriente Medio, Oriente roto (Middle East, Broken East, 2017) and Las cenizas del califato (The Caliphate’s Ashes, 2018).

The author will be holding a conversation with Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Relations Coordinator, and will answer questions from the audience.

Jerusalem, the Holy Captive