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The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries

Yuval Ben-Ami is trying to forge a bi-lingual, bi-national, Hebrew-Arabic tribute to one of his favorite musicians: New Zealand pop prodigy Lorde. In 15 installments, illustrated by his own hand, he details the agony and ecstasy of bringing people together in this land, even around an apparently neutral subject matter, and the myriad issues that come to light along the way.

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  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Project

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, chapter 15: The love club

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, chapter 14: Not alone

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde diaries, chapter 13: Overwhelmed

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, chapter 12: Never be Royals?

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, chapter 11: The lift

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde diaries, chapter 10: Law of desire

    The story takes a southern turn, as Yuval heads into the desert for a possible rendezvous with an elusive star, and has disturbing thoughts on the way. Click here to read the previous chapters of the ‘Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries’ And so I was left with no choice. I had to travel to a freezing desert plateau, where I would chase Mira Awad and try to make her change her mind. The way to Sde Boker by public transportation begins with a 70-minute train ride to Be'er Sheva. At Tel Aviv's Hahagana station I bumped into another traveler headed for the same poetry…

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, chapter 9: The Arab Lorde

     Two nights in Jerusalem bring many a new acquaintance, and make things seem so much simpler— or complicated. Click here to read the previous chapters of the ‘Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries’ Winter was only getting more severe, which presented a dilemma. Being a poetry lover, I head south each year for a poetry festival held in the heart of the desert, at the Sde Boker boarding school. This year I contemplated skipping. Sde Boker is perched atop a steep mesa, overlooking a dramatic canyon and is perfectly exposed to desert winds that can be vicious when winter is earnest. The poets are put up…

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, chapter 8: Mizrahi vibrations

    There's more to Israeli music than your typical Do-Re-Mi, but as our heroes try to explore new scales, they run into a false note. Click here to read the previous chapters of the 'Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries' The storm was beating relentlessly at our shutters. It was too cold to go out to Nehama, too rainy to meet up and record. Yaron and I chatted online instead. "I want one of the Israeli songs we do to be Mizrahi," he wrote. This was a good enough and important enough of an idea that it warrants a break from the anyway hibernating…

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, chapter 7: Bus jammin'

    Ironically, it's a break from music-making and partner-searching that produces a first duet, and with a very special musician, too. Read the previous chapters of The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries here. On the fifth morning of the tour, after having breakfast at the group's Jerusalem hotel, I climbed aboard the bus and found that we had a young guest. It was Husam's 12-year-old daughter, Mayar. He explained that school is still out for the winter holidays. He thought it would be nice to take her to the Israel Museum with us. At first I was amazed to see Mayar on this side…

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde diaries, Chapter 6: Crossing over

    It's time for the local Lorde tribute to go over the Line, in more than one way.   Read the previous chapters of The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries here. On Boxing Day we traveled down to Bethlehem. We were five: my girlfriend Ruthie, three members of her research team (she is a doctoral student of social psychology) and yours truly. We have all been to Bethlehem before, where Israelis seldom venture. Like other Palestinian cities in the West Bank, Bethlehem is designated "Area A." According to Israeli law, it is illegal for us to be present in Area A, and most are…

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, chapter 5: The future

    The team gets the hottest recruit this side of the separation barrier. Read the previous chapters of The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries here. "He who wishes to fly must first learn to walk," said Nietzsche, and I say: before teaming up with Palestinians, an Israeli Lorde fan must find Israeli partners. Yaron surprised me with snobbery, and rejected many names we discussed. Only with one did he seem truly confident. Fortunately, she is my personal friend: the super talented Shira Z. Carmel. Shira is an impossibly diverse artist. Over the years that I have known her, she formed and headed no less…

  • The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries, Chapter 4: Azizi will judge

    Part four, in which our heroes find a jar of rare yeast spread, and have a wonderful time chuckling at 'Google Translate.' Read the previous chapters of The Israel-Palestine Lorde Diaries’ here. On Tuesday I wrote Hanin: "It's time to look for a singer. You said you knew a few." There was no response that day, nor the following. I told myself to be patient. On Friday I read a spectacular op-ed in Haaretz, authored by none other than Mira Awad, the same Galilee-born Palestinian singer whom Hanin rejected. Awad wrote about going out for drinks with a mixed group of Arab…

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+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.

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Illustrations: Eran Mendel