David L. Thompson
From an ancient land characterized (perhaps romantically) by nomadic shepherds wandering with their flocks across a boulder-covered landscape, springs the modern-day power of the imagination. Israel, a tiny nation, has given the world many gifts of culture, art and science. I am particularly impressed with Israeli accomplishments in Science, but will leave that for the next blog installment. For now, I want to talk a little bit about architecture as a clear example of modern-day art. The building in the picture accompanying this blog post is called the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and it can be found in Singapore. So what's that got to do with Israel? Well, the architect that designed this building is named Moshe Safdie, an Israeli-Canadian, and he was recently awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal (2015). This is considered to be the most prestigious award given out for architecture and I believe that the building shown in this photo shows why Mr. Safdie earned that distinction. The Ashdod Performing Arts Center in Ashdod, Israel, is another fine example of modern design. I love its shape - its presence. I suggest you google it. Very impressive! Yes, Israeli architecture has boldly moved into the present - but if you visit the country, there are so may historical buildings all around you. It's impossible to dig without hitting something made by the ancient Greeks, or Romans. You can toss in any number of other cultures, for the land that is modern-day Israel is on the cross-roads between Europe and Egypt, a road well traveled by many conquerers down through the years. But more about that in the near future! And I haven't even mentioned people like Steven Spielberg or Mark Chagall - just to name two from a very long list of well-known Israelis / Jews who have made incredible contributions to the arts.
This continues to be a whirlwind tour through Middle Eastern history, but it all helps to set the stage for the conflict that is at the heart of 'Dark Harvest'. I hope that you will return and join me once again on this continuing journey. I will post twice weekly.
Picture by JK Vibkin
This picture is provided without alteration.