Friday, November 6

Sheikh Bassam Street in Jaffa

It's a smallish and brand new street leading from the southern part of the harbour to Kedem Street (or street nr. sixty), constructed in the area where the Al Adassi home was until the municipality demolished it, some two years ago.
That very same municipality decided to name this street, used mainly by Jaffa's few remaining fishermen, after some founders of Tel Aviv.
We asked them to respect the Palestinian identity of the area and name the street after sheikh Bassam of blessed memory. Sheikh Bassam was the imam of the Mahmoudia Mosque and well beloved by most of the Jaffa population. He was known as a peace maker and a community leader able to find simple and just solutions, not only for religious but also for secular problems.
After his death, , many in Jaffa (and not only Muslims) mourned for him.
The Bassam family lives near by and it would have been much more fitting than the street names usually given to the Jaffa streets, some of which are still known by their pre-1948 Arabic names.

Yet the municipality is out to wipe out the memory of the Bride of the Sea, of pre- Naqbe Jaffa. But after the catastrophe the white bride, that was Jaffa, turned into a slum and the municipality got used to doing what they want.  No longer so.

Some 40-50 people met this morning at the corner of the street and symbolically replaced the municipal name with the name we selected for the street.
There was supposed to be an official municipal naming ceremony this morning at 10.00 a.m., which they cancelled after they learned about the feelings of the local community and of our intent to demonstrate during the official naming ceremony.

The demo went by peacefully.

1 comment:

Beachdiary said...

What is the name of the street now? (that some time has passed)