October 18, 2019
The last day of our “neighborly and peaceful sukkah (tabernacle)”.
Present were: Rami, Radir, Jaber, Roni, Shmulik, Oded, Rafi, Mark, Danny, Dovale, Ravit, Rotem, Nur, Yermi, Moshe, Tzvika, Tami, Diti, Vered, Gali, Maharan, Rami (Gaza), Maram (Gaza, poet in Arabic and English), Abed al Rahman (Gaza), Ahmad (Gaza), Alaa (Gaza, a musician), Uzi, Malki, Vivian, Bella, Ofer, Ye’ela, Eti, Yael, Moshe.
A family from Segev Shalom (a man with his 2 wives and 2 daughters) came near the end of the encounter and I did not get their names…)
Places of residence: Sderot, Gvulot, Jerusalem, Kfar Saba, Ashkelon, Nir Yitzchak, Al Zarnuk, Rahat, Beer Sheva, Be’eri, Alon Ha-Galil, Netiv Ha-Asara, Alumim, Urim, Gaza, Yesha, Kisufim. (Where did Malki’s family come from? Can’t remember, but we can add another place…) The height of the meeting was an hour-and-a-quarter long conversation with five Gazans, one of them a woman who writes poetry, and who read us an English poem. Most of the questions asked of them by the participants physically present dealt with their daring to express themselves in public and expose their contact (by phone) with Israelis.
Many of the circle participants used the notions “optimistic – pessimistic” today (“pessimistic” had the upper hand…) and in spite of their appreciation of “The Lighthouse” initiative, their expectation of change depends on the leaders, not the people (namely, “The Lighthouse” is nice but has no effect). For most of the participants in the circle Gaza is a place of pain and pity. As for “blame”, “people” are divided between either fully blaming Israel, fully blaming Gaza, fully blaming everyone, and fully blaming the leaders. To its very last moments, the “circle” continued to arouse curiosity and interest. Using the musical term, we ended with a long ‘crescendo’. The circle did not die down but continued to grow in vitality as closing time (4 p.m.) grew near. Finally, the end… Thanks to whom? Everyone! Really, every single one. The initiators, the participants, the operative team and the planners, the discussion facilitators, the coffee makers, the guests who were physically present, the guests who took part by phone, and the facebook people. The production is a collaboration of “Another Voice” and “The Lighthouse”.
In my years in the theatre I learned that the show takes place not on stage not in the auditorium but in the space created between the stage and the audience. Similarly, “Gaza awareness” is not anyone’s private matter. It is created in the space between the speaker and the hearer, and this space grew and grew with every speaker who was listened to.
That’s it. We now continue as usual on Fridays between 1 and 4 p.m.
Many thanks to everyone!