From Tel Aviv to Ramallah: A Beatbox Journey
Amir, aka DJ Goa, is a Tel Aviv sensation who spins at a weekly event at Club Aviv. After finishing his army service in a combat unit, Amir spent nine months working at a café and collecting records in New York. He is something of a Tel Aviv celebrity and loves each and every corner of his city. He is loyal to his country, but believes in total withdrawal from the occupied territories. Amir lives at home with his mother, but dreams of international dj fame.
Khalid is the owner of Palestine.net and a young entrepreneur born and raised in Ramallah. Khalid sees technology as the bridge to a better future in Palestine and chooses to focus on business rather than politics. Khalid lives at home with his parents and sisters and spends his free time with his childhood friends, George and Ibrahim. Over time Khalid’s a-political optimism becomes tempered.
Gil is Amir’s best friend, an Americanized party animal who delivers tap beer to Tel Aviv pubs and clubs. His mother always worries about him since he spends all of his time in clubs and cafes, common sites of terrorist attacks. He dreams of his own apartment where he can bring girls without subjecting them to his mother’s curiosity. After his army service, Gil traveled extensively through the Far East.
Amina is Khalid’s mother who cherishes her only son, but also encourages her four daughters to develop careers. She is the backbone of the family who creates an atmosphere of peace in her home despite the conditions outside. Her husband is unemployed after running a bus company during the Oslo years and working in the administration of a Jerusalem hotel. She tries to protect Khalid and his dreams from the cynicism and occasional anger of his father.
These are just some of the many characters played by Yuri Lane, in the new hip-hop musical, From Tel Aviv to Ramallah. Yuri, a Jewish American, is joined by video artist Sharif Ezzat, an Egyptian-American Muslim, who designed all the video backdrops to go with Yuri’s beatbox performance. In partnership with the Feinstein Center for American Jewish History at Temple University and sponsored by the Joseph W. Rosenbluth Fund, Yuri and Sharif will be coming to Rodeph Shalom on Wednesday, December 3rd at 7pm to perform their genre-smashing hip-hop travelogue of peace. Tickets are only $5 for members and can be purchased online: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/from-tel-aviv-to-ramallah-a-beatbox-journey-tickets-14079398861
Through their performance, and through their very collaboration, Yuri and Sharif offer a glimmer of hope for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They transform a political conflict between two nations into an extremely personal experience. Yuri and Sharif help us to see “the other” and better understand the real struggles that both Israelis and Palestinians face on a daily basis.