Exploring U-M’s Opportunities Around the World

 

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Pride parade

Tel Aviv, Israel
“The Tel Aviv gay pride parade is huge, attracting more than 100,000 people from around the world. Although Tel Aviv is in Israel, which is in the heart of the Middle East, it is a vibrant, progressive city. Unlike Jerusalem (where my CGIS program was also based), Tel Aviv is a modern, young, liberal, secular city. A gay pride parade this size would never be tolerated in Jerusalem, let alone in other cities in the Middle East (that are sometimes thought of as progressive) such as Beirut or Dubai.┬áI took this photo, along with many others, to highlight the diversity that is Israel. This thriving, democratic country is much more than the only Jewish State in the world, and its largest city (Tel Aviv) is the epitome of tolerance and acceptance. Pride parades are thought to be common in places like Greenwich Village in New York, or San Francisco, or Toronto, but certainly not in Israel or the Middle East. My photo proves that common thought is wrong.┬áRainbow flags and flamboyant shades of pink are juxtaposed with Hebrew, a Semitic language from biblical times. The dichotomy between new and old, modern and ancient, diverse and traditional, helps to explain Israel’s place in the region today.”