“I can’t believe it’s been a year. One year ago this week, after hard work on a ‘pilot’ 0202 Facebook page, Eran and I pressed ‘publish.’ Almost simultaneously, we began to receive ‘likes.’ We quickly passed the 100, 200, even 500 marks, until we crossed the 1,000 “like” in 24 hours! And then 0202 became an astronomical wind storm.”
Thus describes Michal Shilor, founder and volunteer director of “0202 – A View from East Jerusalem.” She goes on to describe how the page came about:
It all started in November 2014 when I found myself asking on Facebook if there’s a place that can give me a real peek into East Jerusalem – without Jewish left or right-wing commentary, without the filter of someone who is not a local resident. What does the East Jerusalemite see when she wakes up in the morning? What really happens at the checkpoints, in education, during arrests, at cultural centers? What do East Jerusalemites talk about in general, the regular people – not only political activists and not those who are better known than others? At the time I could only get the answers from Facebook pages in Arabic, or Jewish pages that either a) only gave part of the story, according to a certain political agenda, or b) always, always, always presented their understanding of the situation (also according to their political agenda). I then began a journey of meeting everyone who deals with East Jerusalem, I ran from meeting to meeting, from page to page. I very quickly found very good people to be on our advisory committee, and found a small staff from East and West Jerusalem who’d volunteer to take part of this journey. Throughout the year I’ve been amazed at the willingness, the professionalism, the patience and the dedication of each and every one. Today we are 22 Israelis and Palestinians, and I appreciate and thank each and every one.
Here’s her original post in Hebrew
The post was a promo for the first birthday party event that was held on Wednesday, March 9, at the Tmol Shilshom cafe in Jerusalem.
The room was filled to capacity – some stood outside, others were turned away. What a wonderful way to spend a birthday.
The evening included guided readings of different posts that have appeared on the 0202 page – not just what the words mean, but also explanations behind them and related stories. Some of the 20 Israeli and Palestinian translators and editors, as well as those on 0202’s advisory board, led the audience through the posts.
We also had experts in the field, such as Ami Metav, was was responsible for the Temple Mount and the Old City for the Israel Ministry of Defense, and is today a project manager and coordinator in East Jerusalem for the Municipality.
We also welcomed Hatem Khweiss, Chief Editor of the Palestinian news web site HON.
The evening was recorded by the Microphones for Peace Internet radio show, as well as on video.
For those of you who are unfamiliar, this is how the page looks in Hebrew. Today it has more than 15,000 likes, including senior municipal officials, journalists from major news outles and researchers, and is constantly growing.
We, Michal and the rest of the 0202 team wish to express our deep gratitude to everyone who came. As we wrote in our Facebook post:
Thanks to everyone came to speak and to listen, to congratulate and to celebrate with us 0202’s first birthday! We were especially excited about the open, innovative, and sensitive discussion that took place throughout the evening between East and West Jerusalem, between eastern and western Jerusalemites, between the men and women who came to hear, to listen and to expand horizons. We had no idea we could create such a face-to-face discussion at this time, and we’d thought we’d be able to do so on the Internet. We’re astounded that this type of discussion could happen now, face-to-face, only one year after launch. Thank you.
We were happy and amazed by the amount of people who came, and by the number of people who were forced to wait outside or to leave because the event was full. We promise to have a similar event soon.
And here’s the post to the event album:
And a video of the entire event (in Hebrew):