What Jewish-Arab co-existence looks like in the real Ajami

Oct 05, 2010
*Special to asia!

The Oscar-nominated Israeli film Ajami depicted a gritty and complex situation of Jews and Arabs living side by side in the mixed city of Jaffa. But how faithful is the film to the reality of the real Ajami neighbourhood?

Differences aside, Jews and Arabs living peacefully is a goal to aim for. For Salma, she does her part by greater interaction. She teaches Arabic and makes Ramadan cakes for an Israeli cafe in South Tel Aviv.

“With more and more connections, I can make them understand my culture.

“This is my way to make the changes, to make more contact with the other culture.”

The Peace Wall may be miniscule compared to the Security Fence being constructed to divide Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, but the process of creating it is a meaningful one.

“Yoav and Salma, it is like a label. The fact that we work together shows the people that it is possible to create a model of co-operation. Even if we didn't make a beautiful relationship between Arabs and Jews, it definitely did for us as individual artists.”

“It was a great experience for me, Yoav and all the people who came to be a part of this. Given what goes on with the (Gaza) war and the hatred, even if as a level of fantasising, or dream, I hope it will be sun shining, dolphins and peace.”


Salma Shehade

dan-chyi chua

Dan-Chyi Chua was a broadcast journalist, before forsaking Goggle Box Glitz for the Open Road. A three-year foray led her through the Middle East, China, SE Asia, Latin America and Cuba, and she's now grounded herself as a writer for theasiamag.com, content with spending her days in Jerusalem.

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