Israellycool reader Avital writes:
I got back to Israel from a successful trip to Norway where I received the first “Freedom of expression” cartoon award and gave a speech at UTO’s conference about the importance of art and its liberty to our life (as artists, as individuals, as a society, Jews, Israelis, as human beings, etc.)
Not only did everyone I meet receive me warmly and welcome me (including the 3 Iranians exiles – Mohammad who also established UTO, his wife Fereshte, and Maryam Faghihimani, along with all the other speakers, guests, and organizers) but I encountered there another BDS fail: an Israeli music band which was also invited to Drammen (Norway) to participate in the Drammen sacred music festival (Gil Ron Shama’s band).
The award I received (especially produced for the event), which was given to me by the 2 Iranian exiles Mohammad and Maryam, was a replica of the Cyrus Cylinder (a remarkable symbol of freedom, true peace, and the right of the Jews to return to Zion – Shivat Zion) and after speaking with them I learned they gave it to me from the bottom of their heart.
I was so surprised by this warm welcome, award and reactions to my speech, and thought you’d be happy to hear about it – also because in writing my speech, I used a lot of tips that you and Lex had written about in Israellycool… Thank you!)
The only thing that clouded the event a little was an antisemitic comment under one of the other speaker’s videos on UTO’s Facebook page. Other than that, this was a very good event.
Avital is an Israeli cartoonist and illustrator who has been involved in drawing, painting and writing comic, political and strip cartoons for 14 years. Her editorial cartoons have appeared weekly for several years on “Ynet News,” while her children’s illustrations have appeared in children center publications in Israel and other institutions. She has created illustrations and graphic designs for many independent projects, as well as in national exhibitions and international events (Italy-Milano cartoon museum, Israel-Holon cartoon museum, Berlin-Germany, Croatia-Zagreb) in which she has won several prizes. Currently she is working on a children’s book with the theme of tolerance and hope in the life of young children.
Mazal tov Avital!