The promised Land

An Arab man grills kebab for me as his wife in Hijab and their fashionable daughter bake bread in the adjacent room. Tel Aviv, Israel

Barber shop, Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv

Night walks. Tel Aviv, Israel

A stranger obliges for a fashion walk on a dark lonely street.

Adam shares his garage space with 3 other artists as he likes the creative energy around him. Sensing the vibe I guess, a young passerby stopped to ask Adam if she could bring her kindergarten students to his garage to show them around and he happily obliged.

He wants to decorate his vintage truck he’s currently working on inspired by the wacky trucks in Pakistan.

Fascinated by a visitor from India, we discussed everything from his rock-n-roll days in Germany to Indian spirituality. “deep knowledge is very powerful and can be misused,” he said referring to the Netflix series on the infamous Indian guru, Osho,  throwing our moment into a trance within the psychedelic music playing in our background.

An extended Jewish family allows me a peek in their private party celebrating their son returning from the military, and few birthdays. In essence, “just finding a reason to celebrate together”. .

The building housing the restaurant, a ‘Grade One’ preservation project, used to be “Hotel America”, a safe haven for the British troops stationed in Israel in the 1920s. Tel Aviv, Israel

Repulsed by the memory of his trip to India 40 years ago, the antique camera shop owner asked me if it’s still so dirty and poor back home.

The conversation having diverted to the criticism of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, he rummaged through the huge pile of books at the back of the shop. Displaying the book containing recommendations of maps for the partition, published by the UN peacekeeping forces in 1967 after the Six-Day war, he says Palestine rejected all solutions, making it necessary to use force.

In the same breath, he also proudly shows his priced Elvis poster.

Shopkeeper engrossed in his phone, Jaffa Gate. East Jerusalem

Jewish quarter, Old city. East Jerusalem

Boys from the Islamic Industrial Orphanage, East Jerusalem, which was setup in 1922 “as a result of the tragic circumstances and events that Palestine experienced because of successive wars”, hanging out near the nursery school for Palestinian kids.

07:40am, Jaffa gate: Palestinian men smoking sheesha, drinking Arabic coffee and watching football on TV in a local cafe before leaving for work.

The Western Wall, one of the most contested sites in the world.

Family members cheer on as they celebrate Bar Mitzvah of their young son at the Western Wall, with men and women separated by a barricade.

Brothers fold the sajjāda after morning prayers, Western Wall.

On the eve of Hanuka, Orthodox Jewish boys light candles at their hostels.
“We don’t study in order to know, we study in order to study”, says an American teenager who came to Jerusalem to study Torah for two years.

3 thoughts on “The promised Land

  1. M. B. Deshpande says:

    Write ups on Israel & photos are too good. Comments made by the residents are quite catchy!


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