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Posts Tagged ‘jerusalem’

My sister buys a subscription to the Utne Reader even though you can read much of it online. She loves the variety of articles it reprints and thinks she should support the effort.

At Thanksgiving she told us about an article Rachel Kadish wrote that originally appeared in The Good Men Project Magazine. It’s about Kadish’s Israeli cousin, Noam Galai, and a photo he took of himself screaming up at the sky. It’s about how the photo struck a chord with Iranians and with Arabs working to overthrow oppressive regimes and how they used the photo widely, knowing nothing about the photographer.

Rachel Kadish writes that people originally lifted the photo from Flickr, and soon it went viral. “Shortly after Noam began investigating the spread of his scream photograph around the globe, he discovered something completely unexpected. Images of his face were turning up graffitied on walls in Tehran. In Tabriz City.

“His portrait, it turned out, had been picked up by some antigovernment protesters in Iran. In the year following the Green Movement’s first open clashes with Ahmadinejad’s government—a violent [June 2009] confrontation watched anxiously by the world—images of Noam’s face were reproduced by activist graffiti artists, sometimes veiled in red-painted blood. His anonymous face was rendered by anonymous Iranians on metal fuse-boxes and walls, alone or amid a crowd of other spray-painted images: part of a mute but vociferous message dangerous to utter aloud. …

“When Noam learned that his self-portrait was being used by anti-Ahmadinejad protesters, he emailed some of the Iranian graffiti artists through Flickr, where they’d posted images of their work under aliases.

“ ‘I told them, “It’s me. It’s cool. I’ll be happy to see more of what you do.’ ” ‘

“One of the Iranian graffiti artists wrote back. It was a two-line exchange.

“ ‘He was cool,’ Noam said. ‘He was “Nice to meet you, I like your picture.” I didn’t tell him I’m from Jerusalem.’ ”

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A while back I blogged about the book groups called Daughters of Abraham, involving women from three related religions: Muslim, Jewish, Christian. I mentioned that I had met book group participant Heidi, who founded something similar for children, Kids4Peace.

Today I thought I would check back to see what Heidi’s organization has been up to, and I was led to a delightful blog on the first Kids4Peace summer camp. Here’s a taste.

“July 11, 2011 — This morning there was basketball before breakfast! The Christian children had prepared a Sunday morning service for us with the Reverend Josh Thomas, Executive Director of Kids4Peace USA, presiding. The Muslim and Jewish children had many questions after the service and the Christian children were able to answer many of them. In the afternoon, we had our choice of activities with other campers whom we hadn’t met before. Choices included archery, windsurfing, arts and crafts, drama, and woodworking.”

A different sort of project took the Kids4Peace folks to the Interfaith Youth Service Day at the Swedenborgian Church on the Hill (Beacon Hill, Boston). Heidi wrote me that Kids4Peace organized “a program geared towards children under 12 (the older kids did outdoor service projects). We created 40 toiletry kits, cards and scarves to be donated to a women and children’s shelter in Boston.” Read about it here.


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