PublicNews18: A New Look at the Holy City of Bethlehem..
Singer Cafe, also known in Israel as other places that are popular among enthusiasts, has a family sitting here enjoying a breakfast of honey. Somewhere in Europe, a European tourist is writing a play on his laptop, while a couple is sitting in front of a desk table trying to get to know each other.
There is beautiful local artwork on the walls and this line is enough to understand the atmosphere of the café … ‘The more espresso drinks, the less pained it will be.’
But the Israelis cannot enter here because their government forbids them from entering this peaceful oasis. The reason for this is that Singer Cafe is located near Beth Sehor, a few steps outside Bethlehem.
The area is located on the outskirts of Jerusalem on the occupied West Bank, which has been occupied by the Israeli army since the 1967 Six-Day War.
But this cafe boasts some of the best espresso in disputed areas around the world.
Famous for the birth of King David’s hometown and the birth of Jesus, the biblical but bustling little town has revealed a new miracle: the face of Palestinian culture, like the classic red soles of Christian Louboutin shoes. Bethlehem has also learned the best kind of fashion under the Israeli occupation.
And not only that, under a UNESCO program, the Arab League of 22 member countries has declared Bethlehem the capital of Arab culture in 2020.
Singer Cafe manager Baha’Absohnab says, ‘Their first attempt at Israeli occupation would be to end our culture and culture. That is how you can cleanse a society. ‘
In recent months, Israeli government has established populations on large parts of the occupied West Bank, with Israel occupying about a quarter of its volume.
Life in Israeli occupation in Bethlehem looks particularly different, where Israel built an eight-meter high wall in 2002 aimed at preventing suicide bombings and attacks, and Israel says it is an effective barrier. Has been,
Despite all these obstacles, the flourishing culture here resembles that of Havana, Valparaiso, or former East Berlin, much like an open canal in the mud.
A British artist known as Banksy started political art for the first time in Bethlehem in 2005. He created his nine-graffiti artwork on an Israeli job-built wall that separated the area for days.
In 2017, Banksy Palestinian support for art and political theories emerged when a nine-room, ‘Walled-off Hotel’ was opened, with a view of the barricades facing ‘ Decided to be ‘the worst scenario in the world’.
The project, which is temporarily open to every one, has since become a part of the city, with tourists enjoying the same size as visitors to Bethlehem’s historic church.
Not just in numbers but certainly on social media.
The Wall of the Hotel also houses a gallery surrounded by local artists, there is also a museum on the history of the wall dividing the two areas, and the hotel is located on the day of the Palestinian refugee camp ‘Eid’, located nearby. I also make two visits. Proceeds from this are paid to local projects.
“We are in touch with the world through our creativity,” says Vasam Salsa, the manager of the hotel. We are teaching the world the lesson of survival. We are happy with less resources, we are living life. ‘
He adds, ‘A lot has changed, especially in recent years.
He said, ‘Five years ago, if you were in the interior of Bethlehem, it would have looked like Afghanistan but now it looks like Havana, a North American country in Cuba. Now there are women wearing skirts or jeans and men wearing earrings. ”
He added: ‘You can protest, fight, shoot, arrest in Gaza … but you will not be able to get all that feeling a painting or poem gives you.
It is the beauty of art that not only gives beauty, but also gives strength. It turns your human sympathy into a shared humanity.
However, the revival of Bethlehem’s culture was not granted by Banksy. This place was already shaking.
Customers arriving at a Hakka cafe called Rewind near the refugee camp are greeted with yellow words in Arabic. Which means ‘that which is desired’.
A similar sign at Singer Cafe is listed in English as ‘mainstream participation, no thanks!’
While another in the guesthouse named Al-Assyrian, a romance hotel built in the eighteenth century and located in the dusty streets in the middle of the city.
It is quite a tall building and its restaurant does not find a place without reservation, here the word ‘fuda’, which in Arabic means ‘chaos’.
There are many other examples by which the inhabitants of Bethlehem have re-written their story by reinforcing their uncertain and full of anxious lives.
It is also a declaration of solidarity that art is the most deceptive form of violence and that survival is the best revenge.