Sineb El Masrar and Jaafar Abdul Karim toured 10 countries in more than two years for DW. The next stop in our series is Israel. With a fascinating and beautiful Mediterranean coastline, this nation is home to Jews, Muslims and Christians.
It’s Sineb El Masrar’s first time in Israel. In Tel Aviv, the journalist visits a synagogue serving a conservative community, and meets cantor Romina Reisin. In Jewish houses of worship, this role is traditionally reserved for men; Romina Reisin is an exception to that rule.
The journey continues to Acre, or Akko as it known locally, once a powerful port city. There are traces of the Ottoman Empire everywhere here, including at a 1,500-year-old palace lovingly restored and operated as a hotel by its owner Uri Jeremias. On the way to Haifa, Sineb meets Boris Libermann, head of engineering at the Hadera Desalination Plant, one of the country’s largest. He explains how the tiny desert nation aims to combat chronic water shortages.
Most of the nation’s Muslims live in Haifa. Sineb is especially interested in the reformist Ahmadiyya community. Imam Muhammad Sharif Odeh explains how Jews and Muslims can coexist peacefully.
Sineb El Masrar talks to the Moroccan-born singer Neta Elkayam about their shared experience – growing up in a foreign country; and attends a concert by the musician held in Haifa’s Old Town. With familiar melodies still ringing in her ears, she sets off the next day for the West Bank. Together with “Rabbis for Human Rights”, she pitches in to help a Palestinian family with the harvesting. This organization of Jewish rabbis is committed to improving human rights for all, regardless of faith, nationality and gender.