With many parts of Israel on high alert for aerial attacks from Iran, one particular shop in old Jerusalem reports that it is safe and continues to operate.

“The Alabama Shop” at David Street No. 86 between the Christian Quarter and the Armenian Quarter is open for business as usual.

1819 News spoke with Solomon Imam, son of owner Hani Imam, on Sunday morning. He picked up the phone right away. After being told it was 1819 News calling from Alabama, Imam said his usual “Roll Tide!”

There had been one “casualty” from the attack. The Imams and their Crimson Tide family could not pick up the A-Day Game broadcasting from Tuscaloosa Saturday afternoon.

Shop owner Hani Imam had been a student at the University of Alabama from 1985 to 1989. His brother in the United States is also a ‘Bama graduate.

Imam started in the 1990s with one Alabama sign in his variety store. As customers asked about the Alabama connection and purchasing Alabama paraphernalia, Imam decided to add some and, some more, and some more. Alabama swag quickly took over the shop, like Alabama kudzu.

Imam was born and raised a Palestinian before going through a radical Alabamafication, with four years in Tuscaloosa.

“I am the biggest Alabama fan there is. I love my school. The locals ask me questions about what the words 'Roll Tide' means, and I explain, ‘This is a great university and with one of the best football teams ever.’”

He has Crimson Tide items in his shop in Hebrew, Aramaic and English.

The United States and some allies have acted as aerial defenders, swatting down incoming drones and Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles launched by Iran against Israel.

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler writes about Alabama’s people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at ZeiglerElderCare@yahoo.com.

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