Jump to content
The World News Media

Go inside the bar bringing Israelis and Arabs together: "We don't coexist, we share"


Guest Nicole
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Guest
Guest Nicole

When Marwan Hawash walks the streets of the country he has lived in all his life, he feels like a stranger. 

"I am different, no matter where I go," he said. 

Hawash, 26, is an Arab-Israeli, who was born into a Jehovah's Witness family in Bethlehem. "People here like to emphasize differences. You are born into a group and that means you are supposed to behave in a certain way and hang out with certain people."

And so he had always been a little uncomfortable living in Israel. "Let's be honest. Most Israelis don't like me, because I am an Arab," he said. But, he says, he's cast out by Palestinians for being neither Muslim nor mainstream Christian. Hawash doesn't even subscribe to the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses — he is secular.

So, he has done something that can be considered radical: He has developed a space for everyone — in Israel, a country that has, since its founding in 1948, been one of the most hotly contested territories, and the site of ongoing violence related to the dispute. 

The clash: More recently, there has been a wave of Palestinian violence on the one side, which consists mainly of stabbing attacks conducted by youth acting as lone wolves.

On the Israeli side, policies of an extreme rightwing government increasingly discriminate against the 20% Arab population. They are referred to as "Arab-Israelis", a term many do not feel comfortable with as it blurs their Palestinian identity. The government considers a "Nation State Bill" establishes Israel first and foremost as a Jewish State. Critics fear democratic principles could be subordinated to religious ones in the future. 

Arab schools and cultural institutions receive less funding from the state. The education ministry even excised an inter-religious love story from the school curriculum, because it could encourage intermarriage and thereby threaten the "Jewish identity" of the state. The current incitement against left-wing groups and human rights organization is unprecedented in the history of the country.

NTc4YWUzMTM0MiMvVjhMU0FTeHVrRHFCWnR0MUhPbDliOEpjTGRBPS85eDY4OjY2M3g1MzYvNjIxeDQ0NS9maWx0ZXJzOnF1YWxpdHkoNzApL2h0dHA6Ly9zMy5hbWF6b25hd3MuY29tL3BvbGljeW1pYy1pbWFnZXMvM2xldXpubjhlczFnemlseG9pbXB2cXFhOXpsZjRqYjBydGh4YmViMmY.jpg

The location of the Anna Loulou

The Israeli government has essentially officially discouraged co-mingling between Israelis and Palestinians through a string of legistlation. Palestinians from the West Bank need special permissions to work in Israel and Israelis are barred from entering certain parts of the West Bank. In 2002, the Israeli government erected a wall to separate the territories, forcing Palestinians to pass through Israeli Defense Forces checkpoints in order to enter. In 2012 the Palestinian state has been recognized by the United Nations as an observer state, much to the disapproval of the Israeli government.

Yzk4MGRlZThjNSMvMTh3cUpOMmNyY1Q0YXljeF9HMkV2R3VDbGRvPS8weDA6NTc2MHgzODQwLzkwMHg1MzAvZmlsdGVyczpxdWFsaXR5KDcwKS9odHRwOi8vczMuYW1hem9uYXdzLmNvbS9wb2xpY3ltaWMtaW1hZ2VzL3BvY3ZicGF5Z2tkZ2JhZHhhNWh3eWZrY2JvbHpodWZqZGJmcHE1eHB.jpg

Marwan Hawash, co-owner

A haven: Hawash unlocks a heavy iron door located in a small alley in Jaffa, the Arab part of Tel Aviv. The door leads into the so-called "Cave", a vaulted two-room hall. Red neon writing on the wall says "Loulou" in Arabic: It means "pearls." The bar is called "Anna Loulou," or "I am pearls."

"This is the place where you can be exactly who you are."

"This is my life now," he said with a smile. Just a couple of days ago he had left his job in marketing to become the full-time manager of the bar. Since the summer of 2015 he has been a part owner of Anna Loulou along with seven other people — all of them born in the 1980s, all of them highly educated, but each from a very different background. They purchased the place from the founders, a couple who moved to Berlin in 2015. 

"There was never a concept to bring people together", says 32-year-old Alma Itzhaky, a Jewish artist born in Tel Aviv. "Any concept would have been artificial and forced."

Without any political declarations, the place has become one of the very few locations where Israelis and Palestinians, whether straight or gay, party together in a nonchalant way, all of them seemingly comfortable in their religious, national and sexual identities.

Still, the owners have always rejected any kind of labelling as an Arab bar or a gay bar or even a mixed bar.

"This is the place where you can be exactly who you are," said Itzhaky. 

A meaningless concept: Hawash doese't like the term "coexistence," which has lost meaning in the inter-Israeli discourse, becoming a hollow phrase used by politicians and well-intended intellectuals who have failed in attempts to enact any lasting change.

"It's a lie. There is no coexistence in this country. One group is allowed to exist and the other doesn't have the chance", Hawash says. Instead, he speaks of Anna Loulou as a "shared space, an opportunity to connect".

"Growing up in Israel means being directed to different tracks, schools are separated; then there is the army to which Arabs almost never enlist," Itzhaky said. "Most people just don't interact."

Alma Katz, a bartender at Anna Loulou: "It doesn't matter how much I think I am politically conscious," she told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, "stereotypes are something so deeply rooted that you don't always even know they exist."

Before Anna Lou Lou, Itzhaky explained she met Palestinians only in the context of political activism, but said those interactions lacked a natural intimacy. Conversely, the bar has facilitated interfaith friendships, romantic relationships and artistic cooperations. 

"It is queer and creative, it is fashionable and natural at the same time. The spirit is miraculous, almost unexplainable", says Vera Korman, a feminist artist, who regularly parties at the Anna Loulou.

"There is no other bar like this in Israel," Korman continued. "Usually even the left-wing doesn't interact much with Palestinians. Often they are blind to the lifestyle of young, trendy Arabs. They don't even know about their existence So the bar fills a blind spot. It is the place for the few people in this country who have the spirit and the will to really encounter and understand the other. It is a place of possibilities."

N2U2M2VlZDZiOCMvcVdzT3dYUU1TUHVJN0VRMU84VE1Za0R6cm4wPS8weDA6NTYxNXgzNzQzLzkwMHg1MzAvZmlsdGVyczpxdWFsaXR5KDcwKS9odHRwOi8vczMuYW1hem9uYXdzLmNvbS9wb2xpY3ltaWMtaW1hZ2VzL3BrdjZ6NHNqN2NsaWt1cmJseGwyeGZzY2h6Zm1ubjFrNmhnemxnNXk.jpg

Alma Itzhaky, co-owner

"Of course not everyone appreciates this," Itzhaky says. "I think the game is to stay somehow under the radar." So far the owners of Anna Loulou have not faced threats. 

"This place is a lot about the music", says Ruben Rais, another co-owner of the bar. His family moved from Colombia to Israel for Zionist reasons when he was a child and today he teaches Judaism. Rais dreams of one day filling the Anna Loulou with crowds of Salsa dancers.

For now, he has invited a DJ and a rapper from Ramallah in the West Bank. They are part of 47SOUL, a Palestinian band, whose members come from Syria, Jordan and the U.S., who overcame the logistical challenges to create electronic Palestinian street music, mixing Bedouin guitar elements, hip hop, gospel and Ragga and call their sound ShamStep.

People are queuing in front of the Anna Loulou, inside Hawash is dancing with the bartender, people are drinking, laughing and the crowd is moving to Arab rhythms. Everybody seemingly has a good time. The scenario looks like an idealist's dream of what this country could be — tolerant, open and happy. But as reality in Israel is different, Anna Loulou functions as a respite from daily life for people who share this dream.

"In the end the Anna Loulou is just a normal place", says Hawash. "That is the special thing about it: It is normal. And I think there should be more such places. Most other places in this country are not normal. Hate and separation are not normal. And it should not be like this."

https://mic.com/articles/150632/go-inside-the-bar-bringing-israelis-and-arabs-together-we-don-t-coexist-we-share#.pPdEqQAVy

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Views 743
  • Replies 0
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Popular Days

Posted Images

 Share





  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Popular Contributors

  • Topics

  • Posts

    • It still doesn't answer if the source was referring to Satan-1 or Satan-2. Satan-2 has better capabilities, as referenced in the Babylon Prophecy Code. Not that it matters, since at some point, nuclear weapons will be used. Russia has higher yielding nukes, but the US has more nukes than Russia.
    • I wasn't absolutely sure that it was NATO that calls the missile "satan" (instead of Russia). Thank you for helping to verify this point, @WalterPrescott. I thought I had seen it somewhere. And this point, too: I wasn't sure Russia was still doing this when I said: Thanks again. You often come up with very interesting material and sources.
    • Satire and Protest in Putin’s Russia 2021  In its rituals and institutions, it mixes historical epochs and imitates literary poetics, such as the anti-utopian and the farcical— albeit without the self-reflection and (self-)irony inherent in these genres. The satirical magnifying glass as employed by authors such as Aleksandr Zinov’ev, Abram Terts, Vladimir Voinovich in the Soviet period, and much earlier by Saltykov-Shchedrin and Gogol, has lost its ability to magnify life in order to expose its shortcomings and finally analyze them by aesthetic means. Such “untrustworthy” facts as the establishment of the partly Kremlin-affiliated Neo-Oprichnina sects, which revive the idea of czar Ivan the Terrible’s military units (oprichniki) from the period 1565–1572, bear witness to this (the former religious dissident Andrei Shchedrin, for example, founded the “Oprichnina Brotherhood”; he defends the concept of “sacral territory” directed against the enemies of Orthodoxy and the Russian state). Satirically, it is hard to beat—to give but one further example—the fact that Russian nuclear weapons are consecrated by Russian Orthodox high priests, the most powerful Russian intercontinental missile is called “Satan”, and St. Seraphim of Sarov was chosen to be the patron of the nuclear program.4 Topics, devices and styles that are suitable for theatrical performances, historical reenactments or literary grotesque are reproduced in real-life politics today.
    • Something's just have to be accepted as fact. However, is the reference to Satan-1 or Satan-2? The World Disorder US Hegemony, Proxy Wars, Terrorism and Humanitarian Catastrophes 2019   While President George W. Bush unilaterally denounced the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM) as a relic of the past, President Putin, since taking office, had taken it upon himself to shore up Russia’s strategic forces through the construction of intercontinental MIRV (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle) R-36, R-36M, and SS-18 missiles (called Satan by NATO), capable of carrying multiple independent warheads, 10 to 15, and reaching the most diverse targets at 6200 miles. He counted on supersonic anti-ship missiles, known as P-800 Oniks (П-800 Оникс) or Yakhont (Яхонт), and he was also developing the Topol-M, RS-24 Yars, and RS-26 Rubezh ballistic missiles.17 And faced with the American intent to expand NATO’s military structure to Russia’s borders, sending heavy equipment to Poland and the Baltic countries, President Putin announced that his armed forces would receive an additional 40 missiles (ICBMs) capable of penetrating even the most advanced defense systems. Of course, Russia now has the capability on the supersonic missile.
    • Make sure you get his latest..he’s a very brave humble and honourable man…I do hope the GB hears it…not that it matters as the harm is done and cannot be undone. Makes me understand the wording of….no flesh left…..and the need for Jehovah to step in for the sake of chosen ones…..
  • Members

  • Recent Status Updates

    • Mic Drop

      This Bitcoin and Crypto stuff is really starting to take off like wildfire
      · 0 replies
    • Arauna  »  Thinking

      Hi, it seems we are the only two left talking about it as the rest have lost interest.  PITY, because they will soon see what is coming. I have always had a good imagination for understanding injustice. ..I watched the video about the injustice you put up.... very sad. We understand those things.....the other video is just a parody, of snippets of a very nasty person.... I do not know who she is but she was standing  next to the health minister.....
      I am not well, so I may not make it thru this system..... and I am happy to say maybe it is a  good thing.... I want to praise jehovah until I die ...but the opportunities are getting less.... and who wants to see people suffer?  If I were still around I would be severely stressed by it.  
      My father always said " know all, blow all" when people think they know it all.  And I have seen some pretty opinionated people on here. Mostly people who have had very little suffering and had authority in congregations.   
      I encourage you to stay strong dear sister and please devote more time to worship Jehovah in love. I also want to cut my time on internet ........ I spend time trying to find hidden  news about new developments in UN etc.  Soon all news about what is really  going on will not be available..... just mandates from governments and propaganda from the governments. People will be liquidated and we will not be able to get news about it. 
      Just stay strong. I am glad you spoke out about Australia.... I have a friend there who is too afraid to talk on internet.  They have already built  Covid "camps" in USA and Australia.... the  ĺorcing all "faith in god" out of everyone..  only worship of the state will be allowed. .... to compromise as many as he can.
      Strengthen yourself. No one can do it for you. 
      · 0 replies
    • Toni  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      Thank you so much for the spiritual food!!!
      Agape
      Toni
      · 0 replies
    • Arauna  »  TrueTomHarley

      Hi Tom, where are u?  I miss ya! 
      · 2 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      ג Guimel
      Ô. Jéhovah trace le chemin de ma vie;
      car en vous je met ma confiance entière.
      Vos paroles se révèlent à mon oreille.
      Je voudrais être prêt à vous servir toute au long de ma vie.
      La source de mes secrets, vous est révelé devant vous;
      votre justice est comme la lumière du soleil en plein midi.
      Seul mon Dieu peut discerner les actions de mon Âme;
      les secrets de mes pensées et de celles de mes actions.
      Ô mon Dieu Jéhovah , je voudrais recevoir l'honneur 
      de la protection du Dieu de mon Salut. 
      J'aimerais recevoir l'eau de ta source pour m'abreuver 
      comme un chameau avant le grand pèlerinage de ma foi.
      Devant vos yeux se dessine la quête de ma victoire;
      Car Jéhovah est grand et infiniment digne de louanges.
      La grandeur de votre sagesse et de votre intelligence est inscrutable.
      Je voudrais rendre grâce à Jéhovah et m'unir à tous les justes et humbles de la terre.
      Tous ensemble exaltons le Nom glorieux de notre Dieu d'amour.
      Les œuvres de notre Dieu Jéhovah sont grandioses, à tout jamais.
      Hallélouyah
      Ô. Jéhovah voulez-vous protèger votre serviteur;
      afin que je vive et que j’obéisse à vos paroles?
      Ouvre mes yeux pour que je vois clairement
      les choses merveilleuses de votre loi qui sont inscrites
      à l'intérieur des paroles de votre livre merveilleux.
       
      Je ne suis qu’un étranger dans le pays de la terre.
      Ô mon Dieu ne me cache d'aucune manière la beauté 
      de vos préceptes qui gardent vos serviteurs en vie.
      Bénis soit celui qui me révèle le chemin que je dois parcourir;
      le désir que manifeste mon âme qui est attaché à ma poussière.
       
      Je voudrais connaître le secret de préserver mon âme;
      ce cadeau inestimable du seul vrai Dieu; ce lien d'appartenance que je dois préserver au gré de ma vie comme à la prunelle de mes yeux.
      Je voudrais brûler constamment de désir pour tes jugements;
      car les jugements de mon Dieu révèle sa grandeur.
       
      Ô. Jéhovah réprimandes les présomptueux,
      les hypocrites qui dévient de la beauté de tes commandements.
      Éloigne de moi la dérision et le mépris de ce monde,
      car je veux obéir à tes rappels et je veux être soucieux de garder 
      mon âme de toutes violences et de toutes souillures de ce monde.
      Même si les princes de ce monde se réunissent 
      pour parler contre tes serviteurs;
      Tes serviteurs méditent sur vos prescriptions;
      unie à votre amour comme un seul, nous sommes attachés à vos rappels ;
      Tous ceux qui sont avec toi au mon Dieu sont mes conseillers.
      L'humilité et ma douceur garde mes yeux éveillés à lire votre parole, jour et nuit; car votre parole est la source de la lumière qui fera briller mon âme au jour de votre salut.
      Ô. Jéhovah fait briller ta justice et ton droit comme l’aurore du soleil en plein midi.
      Les descendants de ton salut seront puissant sur la terre.
      Gloire et honneur soit rendu à notre Dieu Jéhovah. 
      Bénis soit le Dieu unique de notre Salut
      Hallélouyah.
       

      · 1 reply
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      64.3k
    • Total Posts
      141.1k
  • Member Statistics

    • Total Members
      17,264
    • Most Online
      1,592

    Newest Member
    Jonathan Knowles
    Joined
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.