The Residents of Sderot Express Their Thoughts about Life’s Reality through Poetry and Short Stories

Anyone who lives at the Western Negev area, like me, became familiar with the fictitious calmness which rested upon our area in the past months. The human nature drives us to proceed, to carry on, to live and to forget the difficult days of the past, but deep inside, we all fear from the upcoming days. The Sderot Media Center is preparing to provide aid for the residents of Sderot and the Western Negev, in their struggle against the next round of escalation, through social projects for the community.

“Creative Writing” is a unique project which concentrates on written poetry and short stories, based on the fired missiles’ reality which Sderot has been experiencing for the past 8 years. The residents of Sderot – children, adolescents, and adults, took part in the project, and the Center received their poems and short stories, which talked about their lives, and included their personal perspective on the very complicated reality of the city.

For contest’s winners’ movie clips –

The project was initiated after receiving a contribution from the Hereniz family and their children, who live at the Arava. Thanks to this contribution, Sderot Media Center, in cooperation with “Din Veheshbon”, Sderot Cinematheque, and the “Short” Website, was able to produce and establish the “Creative Writing” contest, in order to encourage the residents of Sderot to express themselves and their feelings about the missiles’ reality through writing. Besides the professional development, the writing also acts as a tool for mental and psychological expression, and helps to deal better with the security reality, as it’s written on the paper.

Photo: Hamutal Ben Shitrit

Tens of personal and emotional creations were sent to the Sderot Media Center for the past two and a half months. Four selected ones made it to the finals. The winning creations were selected by people of writing professions: Author Sahara Blau, journalist Haim Zisovitch, and director of the Pre – Academic Center of Sapir College, Zohar Avitan.

The finalists’ award ceremony took place in Thursday, 13/11/08, at the Sderot Cinematheque. The attendants were Mr. David Buskila, the elected mayor of Sdeort, families of Sderot’s residents, media people, and students of the Ayalim Organization. The evening was even more pleasant thanks to Ma’ayan Hajbi, a singer from the Gaza Region, who made it to the final four in the T.V. show “Kohav Nolad 6” (A star is born 6).

The winner of the contest was Or Adam, 45, a lawyer, who wrote “The Story of Moran, Who Lives in Sderot”, which deals with existential questions asked by the 5 year old Moran, about the reality in which she’s living.

Tom Adam, 14 (winner Or’s daughter), made it to the 2nd place with her short story “Just Another Regular Day”, which tells her personal story about a Qassam that hit her home at Sderot.

Re’em Balsan, 22, made it to 3rd place with his poem “The Security Alarm Clock”, which compares the “Red Color” alarm with an ordinary alarm clock.

Livnat Shaubi, 24, made it to 4th place with her poem, “Routine”.

Another award was given to the poem “Ella”, which was written by the writer and composer Ya’akov Benita, 21, after winning most of the votes at the website. The poem was written about Ella Abuksis, R.I.P, who was killed by a Qassam missile in 2005, while shielding her brother with her own body.




Photo: Hamutal Ben Shitrit

The Sderot Media Center works in two domains. Firstly, as an informational body working in front of the local and foreign media, and in front of diplomatic representatives, in order to voice the local residents, who are living under the Qassams’ threat, and to balance the media and the global public opinion regarding the security situation, by producing and editing articles and movies, and distributing them to the world via the website. The top goal is to recruit supportive public opinion, which will provide help and apply pressure in order to stop the firing of Qassams. The second domain concentrates on initiating community projects, such as the “Shotetut” (“Loitering”) photo gallery, which took place at “Café’ Yael”, near the Cinematheque. As part of that project, children were given cameras, and they had the opportunity to express their feelings about their life under the security situation.

Photo: Hamutal Ben Shitrit

Another social project which was established by the Center is the campaign to form a Knesset Members’ committee, which will represent the local residents who seek fair compensation for the damaged property, in front of the Tax Authorities. Another example is of course the “Creative Writing” Project, which purpose was to display and provide power for building a more successful and calm future in Sderot, and providing a form of expression to the artistic voice of writing.

For more information about the creations:



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