I remember that three or four years ago I took a stroll with my partner in Yafo and we went into one of these authentic shops in town for knafeh (which is, by the way, one of my favorite desserts). The seller was an Arabic guy and I remember being a bit afraid of him on that background. More than how lovely the knafeh was I remember the sense of sadness and unease I had. How awful it is not to know someone and be afraid of him that much simply because of their origin or religion?
There is no doubt that this is a highly complex issue and I’m not sure why I chose to write about it now, in connection with this dress. Perhaps because something in this print is very oriental.
I may be naïve but I don’t want to be afraid of people just based on their religion. I believe that with all the madness going on outside, all these fear and hatred and disagreement are mainly between politicians.
I travel a lot around the world and I lived for nearly a year in Berlin and met many people from Arabic origin and each time I was afraid before identifying myself as Israeli. One day, at a Turkish vegetable shop, we were looking for a spice the name of which we didn’t know and the seller asked where we were from. My heart was beating really fast before Matan answered. But the truth? When he heard that we are from Israel, the seller was not discomforted at all. He laughed and said he loves Israel and Israeli people. And the arguments and quarrels? He leaves those for politicians.
I have quite a few similar stories about real people I met in Israel and abroad who take no part in this circle of hate which seems to be taking place outside, and I thought it would be nice to share it with you. Perhaps it would brighten your day a bit or make you look at things differently. Maybe it will make you feel better like it made me feel better every time I met another person who refuted the assumption that Jews (or Israelis) and Arabs must by definition be enemies.
Photos By Matan Raban
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