Middle East -- People of Light for this Season of Light 2009

21 December 2009


"There will be no victory of light over darkness

as long as we do not recognize the simple truth, that

instead of fighting the darkness,

we must intensify the light." 

            - A.D.Gordon (1856-1922)


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     This Season of Light 2009 reminds us -- the darker the sky, the more visible the stars.
      People of Light  like Israeli Ilana Meallem animate high principles in daily relationships, and cross lines to hear and humanize the unfamiliar "other."
     And Palestinian Laila El-Haddad moves outward from Gaza largely electronically via Internet.
     Some visionary citizens -- like Palestinian and Jewish creators of "You Are Not Here" -- provide others with new abilities and technologies to safely experience feared "enemy" cities and cultures from a distance.

     There is a universally shared dream of Middle East youth --Muslims, Christians, Jews, all.
     The common vision of young adults is this --being able to freely and safely cross all borders to meet all their neighbors.
     Palestinian Mahmoud Abu-Laban ( AboLaban_Mahmood@yahoo.com ) in Hebron has created the newest expression of this needed goal.


Freedom To Move

Created by Mahmoud Abu-Laban - Hebron, Palestine


     Ilana Meallem ( ilanameallem@hotmail.com ) is a Jewish Israeli who has crossed too many old, traditional lines and inspired too many people to describe here.
     SEE her inspiring story and photos at http://traubman.igc.org/ilana-jpost.pdf .
     READ online at:


The Jewish Beduin

by Lauren Gelfond Feldinger

The Jerusalem Post - 10 December 2009   


     YOU ARE NOT HERE -- http://www.youarenothere.org/ -- newly allows Israelis in Tel Aviv to 'meta-tour' Palestinian Gaza.
     And New Yorkers are linked with Baghdad, just the same.
     YANH participants take a walking tour comparing similar locations of paired cities.
     To foster understanding, this "platform for urban tourism" offers users virtual audio tours of cities in conflict zones. 
     READ online at:


Tourists 'visit' Gaza sites from Tel Aviv streets

YNet News - 16 October 2009



     This new step in practical communication the decreases distances and walls between people and nations.

     To PARTICIPATE, you:


1. chose your paired cities the YANH Web site - http://www.youarenothere.org/

2. download a map.

3. take your cell phone with you.

4. walk on a tour of Gaza through the streets of Tel Aviv, or Baghdad through the streets of New York.

Baghdad - New York


Explore Baghdad as you walk the streets of New York!

Site-specific access codes can be found throughout the city allowing you, the Meta Tourist, to experience the Great City by the Tigris.

Upon finding an access code, call the Tourist Hotline -- 646-862-7769 -- for free audio guides to all the must-see locations.

Gaza - Tel Aviv


A Tour of Gaza through the Streets of Tel Aviv is the latest project from YANH.

Your narrator is journalist and mother, Laila El-Haddad ( Laila.ElHaddad@gmail.com ).

Laila has written and recorded the audio tours of her city which are available to explore as you walk the streets of Tel Aviv.

She further describes YANH on her blog, GAZA MOM -- http://www.gazamom.com/ .

Laila is part of YANH team that includes Mushon Zer-Aviv, designer, educator and media activist from Tel-Aviv, based in New York.

Mushon's work explores media in public space and the public space in media.

In his creative research he focuses on the perception of territory and borders and the way they are shaped through politics, culture, networks and the World Wide Web

     Now intensify the light wherever you live.
     Go bless all humankind -- especially enemies, no exceptions -- with acts of goodwill.
                - L&L


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