Sheikh Jarrah has had an infamous ring to it since the 1948 Arab massacre of Jewish Doctors and Nurses on a convoy trip to Mount Scopus. On April 13, 1948, a convoy of ambulances, armored buses, trucks loaded with food and medical equipment, and 105 doctors, nurses, medical students, Hebrew University personnel, and guards headed for Mt. Scopus. The convoy was ambushed in the middle of Sheikh Jarrah, the lead vehicle hit a mine, and gangs of armed Arabs attacked. Seventy-eight Jews were murdered, among them 20 women and Dr. Haim Yaski, the hospital director. A detailed account suggests some British complicity.
More recently, Sheik Jarrah has been a site of controversy after the eviction by Israel of 2 Palestinian families. For background information regarding Sheikh Jarrah and the nearby Shepherd Hotel, Nadav Shragai has provided a comprehensive summary and there has been additional commentary from Melanie Phillips and others.
As one drives from the Old City to Hebrew U on Mount Scopus, the centre of the main road is a beehive of activity with the building of a leg of the Jerusalem light rail system that will interconnect the city. Half way, a sign to the right points to Sheikh Jarrah. The American Colony Hotel is there, as well as the Mosque of Sheikh Jarrah, said to have been a doctor or soldier for Saladin. For a walking tour that gives an visual perspective, see here.