A Celebration of Grassroots Democracy
We kicked off November with the third annual "Here on Earth" performance. Here on Earth, invites Akko locals from all walks of life to come together to perform, participate, and collaborate in a cultural evening at the Jam. Through music, theatre, poetry and other creative means women and men, Arabs and Jews, young and old, share what it means to live in the mixed city of Akko; to tolerate and celebrate the other, and to be active democratic citizens.
Mi’yasar Gharabli, 65 years old, has lived her entire life in Akko and was a second-time performer at this year’s Here on Earth.
“This was the second year that I performed at Here on Earth and my second year participating in Word-for-Word, a bilingual program for Jews and Arabs. Last year I played a part in a bilingual dialogue that showed how hard it can be to communicate when we don’t understand each other’s languages. Our message was about how dialogue is so important between people, and so important for democracy in Israel.
When I heard that "Here on Earth" was coming around again, I didn’t have to think twice, I knew I would be performing. One of my Jewish friends and I decided to recite a poem by Mahmoud Darwish called “Think of Others.” I read the poem in Hebrew and my Jewish friend read it in Arabic. We wanted to show that it is possible to reach out to learn about each other’s cultures, to respect each other, and in this way to create something that is shared. I think this is what democracy in Israel means today".
It was an incredibly special experience for me to perform on stage in front of such a diverse and beautiful audience. I really felt connected with the other people who performed and also those who came to watch. Each of us was able to share our own unique story but somehow it told one story – the story of our city, our home. It made me proud to be from Akko.”