i am tel aviv

I am the couple holding hands at the table next to you.

I am the man with the gold chains drinking a Goldstar and smoking his third cigarette.

I am the woman with the headscarf and the prayer beads.

I am the man with the broken heart, and I am the other man who broke it.

I am the woman who sells flowers.

i am tel aviv 2

I am the brothers who nearly come to blows over soccer teams.

I am the three kids who skipped school for an hour to sit by the sea because the day is nice.

I am the priest, and I am the rabbi, and I am the imam and this isn’t the beginning of a joke.

I am the 22 year old who just sold his startup.

I am the old woman with a number tattooed on her arm who drinks whiskey with her friends every Thursday on Shenken.

I am those two women kissing in the middle of the rainbow crosswalk.

I am the guy who squeezes the best pomegranate juice in Florentine.

I am the bus driver with the natty grey beard and black yarmulke who sings along with Taylor Swift. #HatersGonnaHate

I am the woman who draws on walls.

I am the barista with the dirty laugh.

I am the barman with the nose ring.

I am the old men who do tai chi in the park.

I am the fisherman in Jaffa, and I am his son who throws the fish back into the sea when he thinks his father isn’t looking.

I am the fashionista with red lipstick who rides a matching bike.

I am the old man who sells sunflower seeds.

I am the violinist at the Central Bus Station with the long red hair.

I am the crackhead who carries his book of poems, and I am the doctor who will take care of him without charging.

I am the pink-cheeked woman who gives out Shabbat candles.

I am the soldier home for the weekend who just wants to get laid.

I am the junkie whore who works every day,  I am the tsaddik who pays for her hour just to hear her stories about her broken skin and broken heart.

I am the mother and her children who sit by the sea.

i am tel aviv 1

And right now, I am vulnerable… And right now I am scared. And right now I am hurt.  And I am reeling.

But I am thriving and I am defiant, and I am one beautiful, loving accepting and warm f&ck you to terror.

Because #IAmTelAviv




About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, Times of Israel's New Media editor, lives in Israel with her two kids in a village next to rolling fields. Sarah likes taking pictures, climbing roofs, and talking to strangers. She is the author of the book Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered. Sarah is a work in progress.
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