It is common knowledge that Israeli cab drivers are the best barometers of national opinion. For me, Arab cab drivers also give a peek into the Arab street, of which I am often shut out.

So recently, when I took a cab from the Damascus Gate (a.k.a. Sha’ar Shechem or Bab el-Amud) to my house on the Mount of Olives with a driver named Wael (how it was spelled on the card he gave me, though pronounced Wa-yeel), I was happy to make conversation.

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