Filed under: coexistence, education, Foto Friday, General, Holidays, Israeliness, Life, Picture of the Week, Travel
The Joe Alon Center is an institute with a unique combination of museum, research center,and field school – all dedicated to the promotion of regional studies. The center devotes its activity to the geographical area between Mount Hebron in the east to the Coastal Plain in the west, Lachish Region in the north and Be’er-Sheva Valley in the south.
The Museum of Bedouin Culture at the Center is a collection of artifacts documenting Bedouin ways of life in different parts of the Negev and Sinai.
This Passover, the museum was host to The Camel Project, a collection of 10 life-sized statues decorated by artists, five Jews and five Bedouins, all of them residents of Israel’s southern regions.
The Camel Project was initiated by The Tent Volunteer Center at AJEEC, the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation. The project’s goal is to promote Arab-Jewish dialogue through art and, in particular, to provide a platform for artists from the Gaza border region and the towns of Segev Shalom and Lakiyya.
The event also included activities about the desert way of life, including workshops and family activities – not to mention matza-pizza making and rides on the real thing!
Filed under: A New Reality, coexistence, Environment
Many of us were raised singing songs about how we should “Clean up / Clean up / Everybody everywhere,” but we might not have thought about that on a global scale until around the time Al Gore won an Oscar.
When Clean Up Australia merged with the United Nations Environment Programme in 1993, Clean Up the World was born. Held each fall, member communities participate in Clean Up the World Day, with over 35 million people picking garbage out of their neighborhoods’ flora, fauna, beaches, urban landscapes, etc.
Locally, grassroots efforts to clean up after our less conscientious peers have been active for years, but never institutionalized on a major scale.
With a statement from President Shimon Peres that we ought to “Take the broom and together we will make Israel clean, healthy and green,” the Israeli government (in partnership with the JNF) kicked off its own version of International Cleaning Day one day just over a year ago.
As part of that campaign, which enlisted the help of some 17,000 local volunteers, the JNF organized a mixed crew of Jews and Muslims in the Bedouin village of Rahat for some collecting of strewn garbage. Talal al-Qarnawi, Rahat’s mayor, was glowing at the time:
“JNF not only plants trees, it spreads love between people with a common goal. Today, when Jewish and Bedouin children cleaned the streets of Rahat with their green garbage bags, I saw how much this meant for the residents of my city. JNF is building our common future, and together we will create a better and cleaner Negev for all to share.”
Now Israel’s National Cleaning Day is becoming even more official, according to a recent report on YNet. This week, the Knesset ratified a law to involve the national government in 2009′s festivities, enlisting students, civil servants and IDF conscripts to help in the efforts – which will involve not only actual cleaning up, but also educational activities aimed at minimizing 2010′s workload.
Image courtesy Eitan B from Flickr under a Creative Commons license.