Appreciate this article? +972 depends on your support -- click here to help us keep going

Analysis News

PHOTOS: Tel Aviv marks World Refugee Day with music, theater

Since 2001, June 20th is celebrated globally as World Refugee Day. In Israel, there are 55,000 asylum seekers, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan, two of the main source countries for refugees worldwide, a new UN report shows.

Text by: Yotam Gidron, photos by: Keren Manor, Yotam Ronen, Shiraz Grinbaum / Activestills.org

Refugees pose infront of a poster of Saharonim prison, during World Refugee Day in Tel Aviv on June 20, 2013. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Last Thursday, refugees and Israelis gathered in Tel Aviv to mark World Refugee Day, in an event initiated by different organizations of the refugee community and Israeli human rights organizations. Taking place in Gan Ha’Hashmal, where neglected south Tel Aviv meets the richer and more fashionable parts of the city, the event featured three different musical bands formed by refugees, and both Israeli and African speakers.

Organizers said the event was intended to celebrate the various cultures of the refugee communities in Israel as well as to protest against the government’s hostile policies towards them. Speakers mainly referred to the difficult situations in their homelands and called for the immediate release of the 2,000 asylum seekers currently being detained under the Anti-Infiltration Law. The law, which the state started implementing this year, authorizes the indefinite detention without trial of men, women and children who enter the country illegally.

Refugees celebrate World Refugee Day in Tel Aviv on June 20, 2013. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

As of 2001, June 20th is celebrated globally as World Refugee Day. In Israel, there are 55,000 asylum seekers, mainly from Eritrea and Sudan, two of the main source countries for refugees worldwide, a new UN report shows.

Two days later, on Saturday evening, the Garden Library in south Tel Aviv’s Levinsky Park held the premiere of an original Sudanese theater show called, “One Strong Black.” The play was initiated by a group of asylum seekers from Sudan.

A musical performance by refugees during Refugee Day in Tel Aviv on June 20, 2013. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Refugees and supporters take part in World Refugee Day in Tel Aviv on June 20, 2013. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Two women provide coffee for the participants during World Refugee Day in Tel Aviv on June 20, 2013. (Keren Manor/Activestills.org)

Refugees pose for a photo during Refugee Day in Tel Aviv on June 20, 2013. (Shiraz Grinbaum/activestills.org)

Asylum seekers and refugees watch a theater show by an African refugee theater group at Levinsky Park, south Tel Aviv, June 22, 2013. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

Asylum seekers and a local audience from Tel Aviv watch a theater show by an African refugee theater group at Levinsky Park, south Tel Aviv, June 22, 2013. (Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org)

A theater show by an African refugee theater group, at Levinsky Park, south Tel Aviv, June 22, 2013. (Yotam Ronen/Activestills.org)

For additional original analysis and breaking news, visit +972 Magazine's Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. Our newsletter features a comprehensive round-up of the week's events. Sign up here.

© 2010 - 2014 +972 Magazine
Follow Us
Credits

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

Website empowered by RSVP

Illustrations: Eran Mendel