35 years ago today, our Russian grandfather Nicola passed away.
I’m humbled and thankful to have written his amazing life story, which has taught me as much about part of our family history and dynamics, as it did about myself and the kind of person I wanna be 💙 I see that as one of the many great reasons to dive into family history, and a helpful reminder of how certain traits can potentially get passed on (see: Bible, epigenetics)–of course; provided they are activated and amplified by our own thoughts and actions (personal responsibility is key) 🌟
It was also totally NOT planned that the 2017 year–marking exactly a century since the Russian Revolution that kicks off the story–would be the year of completion, but I’m thankful for Jesus’ eternal divine timing ☦️
Hence, the cover to the upcoming book titled Nicola’s Leg which will be available in April:
Nikita and Natacha, of Russian nobility, flee the Russian Revolution to Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives. Thus is born my grandfather Nicola’s story: from adolescence in Eastern Europe, to serving in Egypt during World War II, to his imprisonment at the onset of Israel’s Six-Day war, his journey unfolds, eventually culminating in the loss of his legs.
After 2 visits to Palestine & Israel–the first time for 2 weeks and the second time for 3 months–there are definitely things I’ve noticed and have kept in mind (and yes, have turned into inside jokes with friends and family, not gonna lie).
As such, I’ve created my own rather detailed list based on things I’ve experienced and which may be helpful to check out before going.
*Sidenote: my short story collection “Twisted Reflections” features 2 stories set in the Holy Land. 🙂
This 2-part documentary is a highly informative account of the events that led to the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, referred to by Palestinians as Al Nakba, or the catastrophe.
The documentary highlights the ways in which the creation of the State of Israel was made possible through several factors, on top of the fact that the mistreatment of Palestinians shockingly (or not?!) started well before the creation of Israel.
Totaling about 3 hours in length, it’s as heartbreaking as it is comprehensive. It’s clearly not easy to stomach all the injustice and atrocities involved, but it’s well worth watching. +
Other languages: link to the same documentary with Arabic, French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese subtitles:
Some pretty disturbing videos showing some of the tension during Easter 2013 celebrations in the Old City, Jerusalem.
Christians denied entry at the New Gate. Violence erupts:
The clip below shows an Orthodox priest being roughly handled by Israeli soldiers in the Old City. It speaks for itself:
This one is from Al Jazeera and is in Arabic, but definitely conveys some of the chaos:
A drama-free one, showing Christian Palestinian celebration in Bethlehem:
Some videos I took from my 2011 Easter experience in Jerusalem. I’ll never forget the intensity of the crowds, how frighteningly packed it was, the energy all around… Definitely an experience to say the least!
This clip below on the Ethiopian lighting of the fire doesn’t have great resolution, but it still conveys the energy and vibe of the moment!