The Big Felafel


I could feel the music’s beat. I mean I could literally feel it as the notes pounded the ground. And I liked it. GeNana. (Pronounced: Janana)  I was in GeNana which of course means total craziness. It was an open mic concert randomly set up at Independence Park in the Middle of Jerusalem.

This is the real Israel. Strip away the sleeping political system and wake up to the song of the youth. They are talented and want to be heard.

I heard them on my way home and wonder what all that racket was. As I followed my ears towards the sound hidden deep in the park I finally came across the crowd of young people bobbing their heads to the rock and roll blaring before them. This is not the Jerusalem that tourists know about and even after I have lived here for three years, this isn’t even the Jerusalem I knew about.

As though it was taken out of a bad movie, there were crowds of people, some dancing, some holding beers, one couple who didn’t care that they were in public and those really rocking out to the music. However, unlike your typical played out rock and roll scene, there was the Religious crowd too and I have to say they were the ones truly rockin it.

In the dark as the GeNana concert screamed, I sat quietly and people-watched. The young man held his kippa as he twirled in circles high off the music. His feet jumped and his free hand mingled with the air. As he moved he passed a punk girl. She was covered in black clothing although the clothing didn’t exactly cover her. She sat speaking to what I assumed was her boyfriend. She played with the back of her pants which struggled to stay up. Her makeup matched her image with black eyeliner and dark red lipstick. Next to her sat the hippie group of kids laying on the grass and taking in the music as though the band was the sun and they were bathing in its light for a mean tan. In front of them were the dancers. These are the people that really let go.

The music took over the park and the two surrounding blocks. I was in a real Jerusalem hang out, not my usual Anglo hang outs of coffee or Emek Refaim. This was the music scene of kids who practiced with their bands in shelters and rocked out in the dark of the park. They don’t care about the political situation; they care about the amp working.

And it was nice to escape the newsworthy Jerusalem and vacation in GeNana.


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