Happy Frenzy in the Middle East

Pharrell Willilams’ song Happy and its video inspired many people around the word to create their own version and show how happy they are in their place.  As an Israeli I found the videos from the Arab countries to be fascinating, because it gave me a glimpse into places that I cannot visit and of people that I cannot meet.  The one that warmed my heart the most was the video from Yemen. My family left Yemen in 1949 and was never able to return there. I grew up on so many stories from the old country but the Happy video from Yemen provided me real images of people and places from Yemen today  - they were not fairy tells. 

It was fun seeing all the people that either call me "the enemy" or define themselves as "my enemy"  being happy. Looking at their faces they all looked very familiar to me, like family, neighbors, and friends.  The video from Lebanon could be from Israel. These two courtiers are more alike than what our leaders would want us to believe: Both Israel and Lebanon are secular countries with a population that is a mixture of East and West. 

I do believe that when you love someone you actually project on this person something you love about yourself. When you hate someone you project on this person something you hate about yourself. So what exactly do we hate about ourselves that we project on our neighbors in the Middle East? Wouldn’t it be more efficient simply to see a therapist instead of starting a war?  I hope all people will continue being happy and maybe one day they will all love themselves and allow themselves to love their neighbors.

Jerusalem, Israel:

Tel Aviv, Israel:

Nablus, Palestine: 

Gaza, Palestine:


Syrian refugees in Iraq:


Saudi Arabia:


Abu Dhabi:

Kurdistan (Northern Iraq):