OFF HASCHALOM rd. (Say a little prayer)

Before I wake up and do my Make-up, I say a little prayer for U, my dearest Beirut. Can you please shut up for a moment? No? There is an alarmingly high number of cool people hanging around in your town who are getting more and more sick of the situation. (Sorry, I don’t mean Hans Nieswandt, who was so touched by celebrating a Techno night in your town, I mean gay people like Amir, who has to stay in Beirut day by day) People like Amir don’t like the Hezbollah. But this morning Hezbollah set the city of Beirut on fire again by organizing a strike! I’ ve got a letter from our SFD headquarter in Te Aviv last night. What a coincidence! Gilad Bernari wrote us, about a simple street sign, an image he found a few days ago and I try to write a short response this morning.

gilad-benari-remembrance-and-independence.jpg

Dear SFD,

Israel Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism Remembrance Day, called in Hebrew – Yom Hazikaron. A day of remembrance for those who fell in the struggle for the establishment of the State of Israel and in its defense, is marked during the 24 hours preceding Yom Haatsmaut (Israels Independence Day). On Yom Hazikaron the entire nation remembers its debt and expresses eternal gratitude to its sons and daughters who gave their lives for the achievement of the countrys independence and its continued existence. Flags of Israel are flown at half mast and memorial ceremonies are held all over the country. Ending at sundown, the somber, reflective mood of Yom Hazikaron gives way to the celebration of Yom Haatsmaut (The Independence day), a transition which emphasizes the lasting tie between the sacrifice of the countrys fallen and the continued existence of a vibrant and dynamic State of Israel.
In that way I see this photograph. A simple street sign of a street called: “HASHALOM rd” with barb wire falling on it. After all the fight for Israel independence is the fight for peace (peace in hebrew translates to shalom). The barb wire are the obstacles we, as a nation, must fight through. As our nation marks the remembrance and independence together, to glorify the ones that died in our fight for independence, and always remember that the loss is a part of the celebration, so is this simple photograph, connection the two forever together.

courtesy text and image Gilad Benari

Dear Gilad,

thank you for your letter. Immideatly Boy George & Dionne Warwick came to my mind. I remember their fascinating performance in a TV-Show during the 1980ties in the States. Take a look and listen to their song “Say a little prayer.” It has nothing to do with religion but it contains a few aspects of remembrance in an analogous manner that I appreciate a lot. Let’s do our Make-up in peace!

best
Gilad

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