Israel, my home, celebrate its 65th birthday. That’s really not much. It’s almost nothing on a scale of countries to age, but in this short period of time, we sure have been through a lot. In 65 years, Israel has been through wars, diplomatic issues, growing population, ground development and many other things every newborn country is going through. To me, what makes Israel so special is the atmosphere, created by the variety of people who live here. This gathering of so many cultures makes Israel the special, beautiful place it is.
Today is the happiest day of the year for Israelis. Celebrations are everywhere, from the streets to the rooftops- everyone is celebrating our 65th year of existence. However, this day is also here to remind us that the battle for our independence is far from being over. The Israeli independence day comes right after our Memorial Day, and a week after the Holocaust remembrance day. It is no coincidence. This is what reminds us the past- the holocaust survivors who, against all odds, escaped the horrors to build a place where they will no longer be hunted; the present- the thousands of soldiers and civilians who lost their lives while defending our country from those still believe we have no right to exist; the future- the many years to come, for our country, our Israel, to grow, develop, and be a home for the hunted. The future of the place our grandparents built in order to promise that the Holocaust will never happen again. Independence day is the last stop of the 3-day journey of Israel's story. It is a time for celebration and gratitude, for appreciation and thanks. For strength and hope.
Last year, I wrote the things I love most about living in Israel and being an Israeli. This year, I decided it was best to simply show you the essence of Israel, so I asked a few photographers to capture their Israel through the camera lens.... Enjoy the slideshow, and always remember- a picture may be worth a thousand words, but even countless pictures will not be equal to the thrill and beauty of an actual eye sight