Tel Aviv Diary - August 31-September 4, 2014 - Karen Alkalay-Gut

August 31-September 4, 2014

August 31, 2014

School starts tomorrow, and like many local grandmothers, I'm needed in filling in for parents at the different schools and nurseries. Luckily for me the nurseries involved are off of Shenkin Street, so I'll be compensating with coffee.

And I'll be needing the coffee after a day like today. Making up for lost months.

September 1, 2014

What happened while we were busy with the first day of school? Suddenly the government decided to add on a big chunk of the west bank. And there was barely a word about it on the news. maybe tomorrow.

But prekindergarten was wonderful. One entrance - 14 nursery classes, 34 kids in each group. Two armed guards.

And yet it works. I mean I had to be there an hour early because of the other child in the other nursery (long story) so I waited in the main hall, on the red velvet sofa, and every once in a while a kid who escaped from the unfamiliar new nursery room came wandering over to me. "When do you think my mother will be here?" "Do you live here?" "I don't like my teacher." "What are you reading?" "She's never going to pick me up, is she?" I told them we have to sing 10 songs and their mother will come, but before we finished a single song, the child was captured by the teachers and carefully returned to class. It's a very big area and I marveled at the order and warmth there despite its size, and despite the two armed guards.

September 2, 2014

worn on from the first day of school. we decide to hide and escape today, but the whole day turned out to be one meeting after the next with breaks only for laundry. Tomorrow we were hoping to go visit out friend in metulla but now it's looking too tough to carry through. looks like it will be a tiny excursion that will test our stamina.

This country is so small that if we dont try to get to the top we can see most within an hour.

September 3, 2014

Looks like Afghanistan has arrived to our shores.

But never mind that. It's time for music. Panic Ensemble now on Wikipedia, only in Hebrew, is back. The songs are mostly mine, and in English, and they are planning a number of concerts this winter. I'm even writing new songs for them, although they've got enough stuff with their two CDs and a unreleased recorded CD. Usually Panic Ensemble fills entire nightclubs with people of all ages, and their performances are amazing.

The big hit right now in Israel is a Gazan song, recorded in Hebrew, intended to intimidate us. "Arise, and commit acts of terror!" it begins, but the accent makes it funny. The interchangability of "b" and "p" in Arabic makes it sound something like "acts of berror" and the young people here turned the song that is intended to horrify us into a pop rage. *

September 4, 2014

It is something you consider when you go into enemy territory to discover the truth and report it. You may be dragged into their violence. Steven Sotloff knew this. And it is because of the dangers that the mission was important. Apparently a few people I know knew him and knew his dedication to the truth. He is not the only correspondent I have met who is endangered. I may have written once about the search we made for kevlar underwear on the eve of an Italian reporter's voyage to Afghanistan. I think i would never have dared to enter the lions' den.

*ah yes the song - tkof, taaseh biguim.

CORRECTION: I wasn't listening carefully enough to the words and missed the whole point. It isn't "Arise, commit acts of terror," "it's Attack, commit acts of terror!" The difference is great. In Hebrew "Tkof, ase biguim," sounds like "KOF" or "Monkey! Commit acts of terror." Now that really makes it funny.

To Karen Alkalay-Gut Diary

To Karen Alkalay-Gut home