Friday, December 29

Israeli Blogger Meeting (aka, hmmm.... sharmouta meeting)

Too early on a friday morning (that was today, sometime, early, when it was still too cold to think), opposite the Green House (no, that's not a place where they grow plants, it's the military prosecution offices, located in what once, pre 1948, was the spacious home of a wealthy Jaffa orange grove owner) on Yefet street; Amos and Lisa (yes, yes THE Lisa of "On The Face") wait for me to go to the Israeli Blogger Meeting at "BenHarim", a small hotel in Gideona (Gilboa mountain Range) run, ofcourse, by a blogger, Yoav Gal.
The greenhouse is very close to my house, but navigating Ajami early mornings i do not even wish upon my enemies. (Thanks for the ride, btw, i appreciate it).

First of all, it was fun to finally see the faces behind the some of the blogs i like reading. People i felt i knew a little, without having met them.
The morning sessions of the "unconference" (underbroken by the memorable fresh "kremschnitt" or millefeuilles) provided me with diferent ways of thinking about blogging in general and my own blog in particular. Why do i bother? Who do i write for ? (yeah, you, i know).
Can blogs bring about change at some profound level? Or rather, can blogging be part of social change processes?
What's special about the Israeli blogosphere? To my disappointment there were no Palestinian Israeli bloggers present. The majority of the 22 participants were Hebrew writing bloggers.

And the above mentioned sharmoutot? Amos differentiated between different categories, and i guess i belong that one, yep that's me, a sharmouta blogger alright.
Wanna know why? Yeah i guess you do, but you weren't there.

It's friday evening, it's also the beginning of Eid ElAdha and in Jaffa that means partying, and that is NOT a time to write about such matters, so enjoy the pics: click on the Tali's image to make it all the way to picasa:

And btw, Amos has promised me some clothing for the family of the 8 children, so also some practical good came out of the meeting. Thanks Amos!


Leila said...

I don't get it. Why are you a sharmouta? when I was a kid visiting my family in South Lebanon, sharmouta was a really, really bad name to call somebody. (also feminine as you know).

Can you explain why you call yourself such a name? Has the term evolved in Israel to mean something else?

I mean, to this Lebanese/American, it's not a surprise that you, a Palestinian, might refer to Israelis as sharmoutot, or maybe ikhwee sharmouta.

But I get the feeling that would mean something you don't really mean, since you say some of these people you think of as friends. And no, I'm not surprised that you might think of some of them as friends. I am puzzled at the meaning of sharmouta, that's all.

Anyway. Glad I found your blog. I will keep reading it.

Leila said...

Wow, I get it, I made a big mistake. You arent' Palestinian! You're Israeli Israeli, not Israeli Palestinian! Hence the use of this word. It just doesn't mean to you what it would mean to us across the border.

Forgive me for the confusion. I just got here.

I'm still curious about what it DOES mean to you.

yudit said...

"Sharmouta" in Jaffa Arabic IS very bad, and i wouldn't dare using it and it bothers me when people use it around me, often in order to swear or gossip "oh, she? she's a real shar...", only slightly less horrid than "kakhba', wich is used mor eor less in the same way, but considered even worse.
However, Jaffa Arabic and Hebrew slang carry out an ongoing affair, and in Hebrew the S-word can be used both as a swear word and as a kind of "endearment", meaning the opposite more or less, especially in "hip" Tel Aviv slang and even more so in the gay community, where once more it means something different and is used in quite positive terms by some of my friends whom i will not out.
During the unconference we spoke about what people want and why they blog. Someone quoted an example of a young girl froma periferial area who blogged about her friends and family, just for them. Ynet picked up and placed a link to her blog on its frontpage, which resulted in over 50.000 people visiting her blog suddenly.
She was very angry, because she felt her blog was "private" in a snese and her privacy had been invaded by that link and its resulting traffick.The unconference participants in comparison WANT people to read their blogs, the more the better, they WANT the interaction with the public and they want the exposure. Some somone compared us to "sharmoutas" whereas that young girl had been victimised.The s-term was used on that sense, because it amused me to think of my personal blogging in that sense: exposure. There was actually more to the remark,but i want ot write a separate posting about that.

yudit said...

Leila, u r right, i am NOT a Palestinian, but a "real" israeli israeli, whatever that may mean. (and i am not certain about that).
As i live in a mostly Muslim community in Jaffa, i am daily reminded of "the other", often more so than "one of us", which sometimes makes other israeli israelis call me a traitor and worse (then they call me "the daughter of the s word").
I'm just trying to be me i guess, that's difficult enough without applying tags.

J.P. said...

If you would write your fingers numb on what bars you do visit or your weekly new cargo of lovers, you would get every day a truckload of fan mail.
It does not wonder me not to have found you on any blog in this western world, every sane person knows you to be right in what you do, but to be openly tagged to you might cost a certain price.

Would it be possible next time you use those other words like sharmouta to give the translation too, on the above lines you wrote to write this blog because of us, too this extra service might bring another two extra readers.

yudit said...

JP, i'll try to, although sometimes it's difficult as even amongst yesterday's conference participants the s-word had a different meaning. I'm not sure how manyof the are actually aware of its cultural meaning even in Jaffa.
I'll try to tranlsate in my next posts, but there is that @thing@ about translation, the same word in different cultrues sometimes has a rather different meaning.

Yohay Elam said...

I had a great time at the blogger gathering.
I think that many bloggers, and especially the ones that showed up to the unconference, want to be loved, get attention, get comments on their blogs, etc... in that each one of us is some kind of "Sharmuta".
I write both in Hebrew and in English, and I hope to post about the meeting in English as well.