ISRAEL, BEYOND CLICHE
I was hesitant, yet the man inside warmly welcomed me, smiling with his eyes and eyebrows all together – something people with PANAM smile should maybe learn. Sitting there, on the mosque’s stairs, Saturday morning in Old Jaffa, watching through the large gate door towards the sea, I saw on the other side of the road a Jewish orthodox (you can’t miss them, thanks to their very particular outfits), doing the very same thing as I was – stopping for a while, breathing the salty air, enjoying the stillness of the moment. That was it – the beginning of my editorial about Israel – this very scene, that so many would think incredible. The normality of this frame – a foreign Christian woman, sitting on Muslim ground, looking at a Jewish orthodox breathing by the sea, 7 meters away, that is Tel Aviv I want you to know, street level temperature.
What about the business world? After visiting major agencies and creative boutiques, meeting designers, startup owners, architects and future makers, although people couldn’t be more diverse in their beliefs , way of conduct and origins, there is a consensus: everyone wants peace with their neighbors, they are all longing for harmony. In Israel, the military service is obligatory for men and women alike. But every single person I’ve met was voting for a world without conflict. One creative director said, “in many aspects we are Arabs – look at halal vs kosher – same principles. Our cultures are mirroring each other on more than one level”. Other said, “Arabs are our brothers – in the jury rooms of major festivals we are meeting creative directors from the countries around and we instantly click”.
Entrepreneurial spirit, brightness in thought, a nose for opportunity, brilliant taste for conversation, sharing and building up things from one dialogue to the other and making things happening with incredible speed, zero discrimination towards women, regardless their role, an incredible connection to the future and a delightful sense of humor – that is the Israeli vibe I’ve discovered: a fascinating world worth exploring and celebrating alike.
See the work in progress for the Israeli edition of the magazine below.