Thu, 04 Mar 2010 08:25:45 GMT

Shalom Israel - Part 3

The final leg of Shirin Mehta's eye-opening journey through Israel.


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DAY 5

Jaffa

Boats docked in Jaffa

Boats docked in Jaffa

We dump our bus and walk along the Tayelet, cool sea breeze in our faces, watching surfers crest the waves of the Mediterranean. At the very end, we enter the ancient Arab port of Jaffa, one of the oldest ports in the world, mentioned in the Bible. Jaffa's ancient sandstone buildings seem to tumble over each other up the hill. We walk around the Clock Tower Square, lined with shops and antique sellers. There is much happening here in the way of restoration and renovation. An old Turkish prison is being converted into a luxury hotel while the former train station is being converted into a shelter for artists. The ancient port too is being transformed. We walk along the city's ramparts, through quaint tunnels that house artists' shops, all perfectly restored and yet faithful to their original silhouettes.

And as the light fades, we witness a Mayumana show at their special theatre in Jaffa. Founded in 1996, this group 'embraces the joy of artistic creation, gathering multi-cultural performers from different disciplines to develop a unique theatrical language based on personal skills, rhythm, visuals, dance and music'. I'm a lion in the water/ Let us all be one with change/ frames of time/ The sand is falling... sing the acoustic musicians and I feel a sense of peace creep over me and I send up a prayer for this harmony to be manifest, everywhere.

(Continued)
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