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Salaheddin Street - The busiest shopping street in East Jerusalem, it starts from Az Zahra gate and continues until just before the American Colony Hotel.
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Salaheddin Street

The busiest shopping street in East Jerusalem, it starts from Az Zahra gate and continues until just before the American Colony Hotel. It's ideal for window shopping and actual shopping, since it is full of shops offering different kinds of products that are not geared towards tourists but the local population. Before the Israeli-imposed closure of Jerusalem in the face of Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1992, this street was a haven for shoppers from all over Palestine and the nearby villages and was difficult to set foot in particularly around the major Muslim and Christian feasts which are the major shopping seasons in Palestine.

Starting with a variety of clothes shops for men and women, it also contains the best bookshops for Arabic and English books and magazines. Vegetable shops also provide the best looking (and also excellent tasting) vegetables and fruits you can find, though they are on the expensive side. A couple of music shops, as well as a few quick food restaurants selling the traditional Palestinian Shawarma, Hummous, and Falalfel are on the way to satisfy the appetite of hungry shoppers and passers by. Jewelry shops (silver and gold) are also found on this street, as are two or three furniture and electric appliance shops. The greatest concentration in this street, however, is for Palestinian tour operators, and money changers. Az Zahra street, an exit to the right at the northern end of Salaheddin street also offers an extension of the shopping experience to more clothes, food, as well as tour operators, and hotels. Some of the best hairdressers in Jerusalem for men and women (no unisex hairdressers are available in East Jerusalem) are also located on this street and usually no appointment is required.

Towards the northern end of the street, there are two Palestinian theatre houses: The Palestinian National Theatre and Al Kasaba theatre, as well as an interesting historic-turned-cultural site known as the Tombs of the Kings (opening hours 08:30 - 17:00) which was once thought to be the burial site of the kings of Judah. Cur೿rent೿ly it is believed to be the family vault of the royal family of Adiabene, an independent state within the Babylonian Empire whose queen, Helena, along with her son Izates, converted to Judaism. Every summer for the past three years this location has been the site of the Jerusalem Festival for Arabic music organized by Yabous Productions. Even though the site is planned to undergo renovation, the festival of Arabic and World jazz music will still take place there in the second week of August.

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Added: June 2006
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Salaheddin Street