This is my first blog post with JP and decided to start at the beginning: Athens, my birthplace. It has been a long time since we moved to Jerusalem with my family, where I am active envisioning and creating the Jerusalem of my dreams: a model city that functions as a cooperation hub; promoting exchange, and fostering cooperation and communication among its different people and communities.  And am reminded here of the phrase coined by a dear friend who lived in Jerusalem for two years: "Jerusalem, the synopsis of the world,"  to mean that it is here in Jerusalem where the different cultures and religions cohabit the same space and coexist in relative harmony side by side in Jerusalem's old city and beyond its walls.

Back to my birthplace Athens, and the birthplace of Western civilization. Athens had an official honorary moment, a moment of global attention through Barak Obama 's visit and, most importantly, statements recently. Obama visited Athens post the announcement of the US elections results to make to his fellow Americans and to all humanity this point clear: that he stands for democracy and the rule of the people, and that today that the world seems to be straying from these values, it is important that we globally realign ourselves to them, and renew our commitment to democracy. Obama is asking us to become an active and awakened citizenry that can cooperate for the common good of humanity by means of democracy and the valuing of each other's heritage, traditions and culture.

In his visit to the Parthenon, in the Akropolis of Athens  built in honor of the Goddess of Athena, the Goddess of wisdom and practical reason Obama makes the following statements "It is here in Athens that so many of our ideas about Democracy, our notions of citizenship, our notions of law began to develop.. ..and it is a very important role for the President of the US to set a signal to the world that their culture, their traditions, their heritage their monuments are something of value and are precious and that we have learned from them...…it sets a signal around the world that we view ourselves as part of a broader humanity, a community of nations that can work together to solve problems and lift up what's best in humanity."

In hope that Obama's message has been received by all of us here, and in hope that we here in Jerusalem, internalize it and work towards lifting Jerusalem to its place of yeru-shalem;  a prototype and a paradigm of cooperation at its best, a city of peace, to serve as  a model to the rest of the world.


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