Entering into my 3rd week in Jaffa and I thought I’d better share with you these photos of my workplace. The first is of the Peres Center itself, the second one of the sea view from just outside the office. Stretch my neck slightly and from my desk I too have clear view across tops of palm trees and out over the bright blue Mediterranean Sea.
It’s still somewhat of a mystery, to me at least, why the Peres Center is located here in Jaffa. Most Israeli-Palestinian peace NGOs are located up in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the natural epicentres of the billion dollar aid industry in the region. That said there is definitely some symbolism to it being located in the heart of Tel Aviv’s Arab neighbourhood – a neutral meeting place for Israeli and Palestinians. Yet, it is still a bit of an anomaly to see this grandiose building in the middle of this relatively run-down/neglected part of town; quite a contrast from the central Tel Avivian sea-front with its glitzy high-rise hotels and wide tree-lined boulevards. And for all the scepticism there was towards the Center for re-locating here a couple of years back (Aesthetic Dispossession in Jaffa) it does seem that it’s doing its bit to engage with the local community and earning its right to be here (Community Activities in Jaffa).