And the adventures continue. Israel has been SO good to me, providing me with so many stories and so much excitement. Here are some more fun places I’ve visited during my journey:
Ein Gedi & Dead Sea:
Both of these places are so historical and biblical where there are so many biblical mentions in these two unique places. Going to Ein Gedi was a first for me and I was truly mesmerized by it. It is a nature reserve where the most beautiful springs in Israel are located; it’s located west of the Dead Sea. We hiked and trekked up some really beautiful trails where we ended up in our bathing suits under the waterfalls! It was a spectacular view, one I will never forget.
The Dead Sea (which I’ve been to only twice before) was still a pretty awesome place. It is the deepest point in the world and it’s over three million years old! The Dead Sea was also a place for biblical characters- King David saw it as a place of refuge and King Herod saw it as a place to heal. Fun fact, the Dead Sea water has a density of 1.24 kg which means we floated instead of swimming. The water left us all with silky smooth skin (even the boys)… Unfortunately, due to the severe eczema on my skin, the salt-water really irritated my skin while I was in the water; however, after walking out, it seemed as if my eczema had healed significantly. My friends and I also bought the mud and gave ourselves facials! Dipping in the water made me feel as if I had cleansed my aura and my hair and skin felt like new. If you ever get the chance, I suggest you take a day trip there!
Peres Center for Peace
The Peres Center for Peace is an organization founded by Shimon Peres, promoting peace between Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians. They have a variety of projects spanning from health care to business to the environment. The main objective is to focus on coexistence by showing that these two groups of people have shared interests. It is such an amazing organization and their stories are heart-warming. One of my peers interns for them and shares their success stories with me.
The center is located in Jaffa (where there is a heavy population of Arabs and Jews in Tel Aviv) in a building right on the beach. The building is made of cement and glass: they are made of these two elements specifically because they are both made from sand (representing that all humans come from the same place). The cement represents the heaviness in Jaffa and the glass represents hope because the glass allows for light to shine through. This was so poetic and I will never forget that.
To learn more, visit their Facebook page.
After the center, we had the opportunity to speak with an Israeli- Arab and ask him questions about his thoughts on coexistence. Here’s what he shared with us: “coexistence is a utopian word, shared society is a better word. The majority wants to see shared citizenship and shared society. As an Israeli-Arab, I want to be integrated into the society and live in a tolerant society.” We are still improving, every day, but there is some truth to the words he said.
Violence in Israel
This is a topic you’ve all wanted to hear from me about. So here it goes. Many of you have called, texted, messaged, and tried to reach out to me during this horrible time in Israel (thank you for caring, it really means a lot). There are stabbings, there are people dying, there are shootings, there are numerous horrible things happening. There are people, of all ages, dying on both sides. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit. This is a very complicated and difficult topic to discuss, but nothing is ever resolved from finger pointing and violence. I’m not in the army so I have no direct way to help defend Israel and innocent civilians, but I do have power in one other way. I can promote peace and sharing articles about the middle-eastern current events through my words and my actions. I can promote peace through my Facebook posts, tweets and blog posts. There’s been some news agencies that have been reporting false and biased information about the situation in Israel. Please, before you form an opinion read multiple articles with different opinions and political ideologies.
Please join me and bringing more light into this word and being tolerant of ALL walks of life. Just like the cement and glass coming from the same place, we humans also come from the same place. Let’s love each other and care for each other. Make love not war, from both parties. I know it sounds very
Masa Mega Event
Many of you may have seen this, many of you may have not but…. I MET THE PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (yes, please imagine me jumping up and down and shouting this). It was such an awesome experience, but I was so star-struck that I felt as if it was only .5 seconds of my life. He gave a very beautiful speech about the future of Israel and him thanking us for taking this time in our lives to be in Israel, even with all of the violence and terrorism. I know some of you may not agree with what his ideologies and decisions; however, he is such a charismatic leader. He doesn’t have the easiest job in the world, so I think blaming every situation on him.
During the Masa event, I was one of the chosen participants to lead my county’s (BROWARD COUNTY, WADDUP) representative. Our county’s representative was a successful cardiologist back from Hollywood, FL and he was someone who was very involved in the Jewish community. I was so lucky to have come in contact with him.
Yitzchak Rabin Memorial
It has been 20 years since the assassination of Yitzchak Rabin and it was one of the biggest tragedies Israel had seen. Rabin was dedicated to giving his life for promoting peace; however, talking politically he signed several peace agreements including the Oslo Accords. He won the Nobel Peace Prize and also signed a peace treaty with Jordan. He is a symbol for the Israel- Palestinian peace process.
So far, Israel has been a good time. I’ve definitely had sad feelings missing my family and friends back in Florida. I’ve also been a bit sick recently; I learned the healthcare system is nowhere near America’s. In Israel, nothing is easy to attain and nothing is convenient like America. The doctors have been great, but the language barrier, the delay in service and some nurses with negative attitudes tend to really affect my patience. I’m hoping to get better soon and resume all fun, young and exciting Israeli activities.
P.S. I’m still looking for a pen-pal, I promise to send the coolest postcards! Contact me if you’re interested 🙂
P.P.S. I’m working on a list of restaurants, bars and clubs for anyone who’s interested! Stay tuned.
Add me on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Email me YariRostamian@Gmail.com