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Israel - The People Make the Place - Part 2

Photos by Evelyn Hannon

Shopkeeper

This shopkeeper had many stories for me. He is from the Alami family in Jerusalem, with a family tree that goes back 1100 years. Imagine! 1100 years! His large clan also owns 40% of the real estate in the Christian Quarter of the Old City. I asked if I could take his photo and he agreed but...he posed looking so very serious. I bet I caught him by surprise when I asked him to think about the first girl he kissed. This is the result.


Vegetarian cook

Today I popped into a vegetarian restaurant in Tel Aviv called, 'Taste of Life.' This woman is one of the cooks who works there. She is a Black Hebrew - a group of people who believe that they are descended from the ten lost tribes of Israel. Fascinating woman who belongs to yet another segment of Israel's diverse population.


Ofri, plant scientist

This is Ofri, a plant scientist and a licensed Israeli tour guide. His Hebrew name means 'deer' or as he said, 'Bambi.' One look at his eyes and I think you'll agree that the name suits him very well. And, yes, that's a lemon tree that you see behind him (not unusual in Israel). We sat on a bench and chatted:
Me: What's your favorite spot in Israel?
He: All of it. In this country all you need to do is throw a stone and where it lands there is a story.
Me: Can you tell me something about yourself that your mother doesn't know?
He: I was once in love with a woman that I knew my mother would never approve of ... so I never told her.


Chic salesperson

I popped into a dress shop and while looking through the racks I struck up a conversation with the very chic salesperson. She introduced herself as Janna or Jane. I offered her my English name and then threw in my Hebrew name just for fun. Her eyes opened wide. 'That's my Hebrew name, too,' she said. From there our conversation became a lovely chat.
Janna emigrated to Israel from Russia. She has been here for 15 years and never had the desire to go back to Moscow.
Me: Can you tell me something your mother doesn't know about you.
She: My mother is dead now but when she was alive I told her I didn't want to have children. Now I am 48 and yes, I do want children but she won't ever know.


Amit the animator

Walking down one of the 'trendy' streets In Tel Aviv, I spied a guy sitting on his motorcycle, wearing really dark sunglasses and a funky black hat. I couldn't resist so I went over to chat. Amit trained to be an animator but gave that up to run a vintage clothing shop. I took three photos of him including one on his bike looking quite formidable. He chose this much more approachable (sweet) one. I asked him ...
Me: Tell me something about yourself that you never told your mother.
He: If I never told my mother why should I tell you?
We both laughed at that answer, we shook hands and I moved on. I loved this encounter.

 

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