Akko, Israel – Where Jews and Muslims Live Together
The northern Israeli city of Akko (in Hebrew) or Acre (in English) is a place where Jews and Muslims live together. There are other cities throughout Israel where Jews and Muslims live together and even go to school together. Like Yafo and Ramla. It is not without problems, but these places are my only shred of hope for this country and the people affected by it. Like all humankind, Israel is split. People tend to get together in groups of same. Same ethnicity, same religion, same ideologies. Beyond that are politics and human rights. Terrorism and injustice. It is complicated situation in Israel. And it is a continuous stream of hate, pain and death. You cannot go even a week without hearing about how one side wants the other to cease to exist.
I wish there were no sides. But unfortunately, there are brainwashed people on both sides. The craziest thing about it all is that Jews and Muslims are actually much more similar, both in culture, genetics, and history than they are different. Heck they've lived and built their freakin religions on the same land in the same places for thousands of years. And yet, they can't see that. They can't find solutions. So it's just one tragedy after another. Uneasiness and mistrust runs through their veins. And who can blame them? Heck, I'll admit it, even in Akko, being surround by Arabs, it felt strange, a bit uneasy. If they know I'm a Jew, do they hate me? Do they want to hurt me? These thoughts ran through my brain, and I didn't even grow up in this country where the hate is felt as early as elementary school. I didn't even have to work in the army and see firsthand why it is Israel has a mandatory service in the first place.
So what can I do? I suppose I can pray. I'm not religious, I don't know if there is a God or multiples gods or a secret higher power or anything mystical out there at all...But I can create my own mantras in which I wish for peace and an end to all suffering. I'll spend my days working with organizations that try to make this world a better place. I'll put forth my best self, and I'll hold onto the only thing I can. Tikva. It means hope in Hebrew. And as long I have it, I can only move forward and hopefully, carry others along with me.