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May 15, 2019 2:26 pm

Israeli Activists Seek to Connect With Iranians Via World’s Largest Farsi-Language Class

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A still image from the promotional video for Jerusalem’s largest Farsi-language class, to be held on June 12, 2019. Photo: YouTube screenshot.

Despite unprecedented tensions between Iran and Israel, as well as the Tehran regime’s pledge to commit genocide against the Jewish state, a small group of Israeli artists and activists are attempting to build a bridge between the two countries by holding the largest Farsi-language class in the world.

The class is a project undertaken by the “Iranian embassy” in Jerusalem, a group established by the artists involved to counter hatred between the two countries. The class will take place on June 12 in the Israeli capital, and the organizers hope for thousands of participants.

The class will not only teach the Farsi language, but also Iranian culture. Representatives of the Guinness Book of World Records will be present to see if the class sets an attendance record. It will be broadcast live on Facebook.

“At first everyone treated the embassy as a gimmick, but for more than three years we have been dealing with the recognition of the rich Iranian culture in Israeli society and working to connect the two sides in a joint creation,” filmmaker Pinchas Matan, who has appointed himself Iran’s “ambassador” to Israel, told the Hebrew news site Mako.

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“There is an exciting culture that it’s a shame to miss only because of the complex diplomatic situation between the two countries,” he added.

Asked why he chose a Farsi-language class, Matan said, “We wanted to enable us, citizens, to initiate a social-political act from below, aimed at connecting the Israelis with the Iranian people.”

“The real goal is to convey a very clear message to the Iranian people that we see them and respect them and their culture,” he continued, “and this message also appeals to Israeli society, which is very diverse and opinionated. This is the first time that such a thing has happened, and for me, every proud Israeli should support it.”

Matan said that his group had received enthusiastic responses from Iranians around the world, including some in Iran itself, who cannot reveal their identities for fear of persecution.

However, he added, “There are those who have long ago removed their gloves and declared their love for Israel, a phenomenon that is growing.”

“Sometimes, when we talk about Iran, we forget that under the leaders there are people who are suffering, that all the external threats do not exactly help them as citizens, and this is not in their control,” he pointed out.

“This event is to tell them that we have not forgotten them, and that we are sending them messages of strengthening and appreciation,” Matan said. “I hope we will succeed in creating a large and strong enough echo that will reach Iran and succeed in changing something in their reality.”

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