Marking 20 years of complicated reality under attacks from the Gaza Strip, we have produced the “Darom Oleh” conference for Ynet, Yedioth Ahronoth and Yediot Communications. The conference was broadcast live at the Ynet website from a mobile studio we have set in the Gaza Envelope. Even during the conference, rockets were fired from Gaza, but like the people the south, who stand strong and carry on with their lives, we carried on with the production.
The conference raised on the public agenda a variety of aspects regarding life in the Gaza Envelope and the south of Israel. Residents of the Gaza Envelope, IDF soldiers and officers, Israeli ministers, parliament members, public figures and artists sat in the conference’s studio. Among the topics discussed were economy and growth in the region, construction and development, agriculture, life under missile alerts, education, anxiety disorders, community resilience, Iron Dome and collaborations with Gaza Strip residents. Furthermore, we created a unique musical combination in which the band “Knesiyat Hasekhel” performed their song “Tagidi Shetov” together with youth with disabilities from the Sderot Gvanim Association.
On a personal note, the production of the “Darom Oleh” conference was a unique experience. The fact that under rocket-fire we kept going full steam ahead to bring the voice of the south, gave us a feeling of triumph. Above all, we experienced a moment of empathy to what the residents of the Gaza Envelope and the south have been going through for the past 20 years, and these two days made us proud of our work and of all the residents of the south of Israel.