KALEIDOSCOPE

Israel: A Country Full of Life

History, Culture, Religion and so much more

Aia MURZABEKOVA

ALMATY, March 7 (THE GLOBE)

From March 3rd an exhibition entitled “Israel: A Country Full of Life” is being held at the Central State Museum. The exhibition contains over 100 photos of Israel.

The Israeli people have deep roots, stretching back as far as the Roman, Greek and Arabian empires.

Israel is a land and a people. The history of the Jewish people goes back more than 3,500 years, with its first millenium recorded in the Bible. The cultural, national and religious uniqueness of the Jewish people is a major force in shaping the country today. Even those living in exile do not forget their ties with the Land of Israel, and this is reflected in both the people’s religious practices in the center of synagogues and in its artistic heritage. Having lost its independence 2000 years ago, the state of Israel has existed in its present form since 1948, when its independence was restored.

Lying at the cross roads between three continents, this relatively new state is situated on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, bordering on Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Egypt.

Geography and Landscape

The total area of Israel is 27,800 square kilometers: a length of 470 km, and a maximum width of 135 km. Despite its moderate size, the range of conditions have led to a number of distinct topographical and climatic zones. If one were to judge the country by this diversity alone, which includes forest plateaus, fertile valleys, mountainous deserts, coastal valleys, the subtropical climate of the Jordan river, and the hollow of the Dead Sea, Israel could be compared to the whole continent.

Zionism

The term traces back to “Zion” – traditional symbol of Jerusalem and the land of Israel. Zionism means the Jewish’s both practical and spiritual return to their forefathers’ land. In other word, it is the national ideology. The World Zionist Organization spreads Zionist ideas in the Diaspore as well as settles important problems, including repatriation and absorption, urban construction, education and development of the urban economy.

Architecture

Influence of numerous contacts with different cultures is observed in the local architecture. Passing through Israeli towns everyone notices mixture of styles and periods – constructions outlasting milleniums, great buildings, mansions for repatriates, and thoroughly planned dwelling blocks.

Culture and art

The history of several milleniums “gathering of scattered” Jewish people from over 70 countries of the world, variety of the society consisting of communities with ethnically different communities living close to each other, as well as endless flow of the information via satellite communication network and cable channels – all these factors promoted the Israeli culture that reflects the character of the community and the individuality of creators. The state languages are Hebrew and Arabic. Hebrew, the Bible language had been used for a long time for divine services, religious researches, poetry and epitaphs. However, hundred years ago the Hebrew dictionary was written and Hebrew became spoken language of Jewish people.

Many-sided Israel

Since the moment of its establishment the Israeli population increased seven times. Today it consists of over 5.5 million people with different religions, style of life, ethnic characteristics, culture and traditions. At present the Jewish people are about 81%, the rest, mainly Arabs – about 19%.

The percentage of Israelis occupied with science and high-tech fields are expenses towards researches are very high. Hence, the potential of gifted scientists, engineers, highly-qualified specialists dealing with academic researches and industry is great. The development of trade, food, pharmaceutical and textile industries, dressing design and brilliant production made Israel recognized.


Variable Art by Alexander Rorokin

Aia MURZABEKOVA

ALMATY, March 9 (THE GLOBE)

The modern artist can not simply consider himself to be creative, if he is not conscious of the fact that he is surrounded by endless space, supra and infra worlds, and if he does not realize that he is part of the processes that make up the universe.

The truth is that God and infinity are inside each one of us. To create a modern work the artist’s entire being must be right, his soul mature and his mind able to relate to wisdom, the mysticism of culture and concrete psychology.

Everyday life restrains human beings, rendering them mere gray masses which can be toyed with and heated to the point of madness. However, the true artist should not hindered by such obstacles: he has to fight. Spiritual and creative works are totally individual. Everyone appears “alone in the face of eternity or faced with its emptiness.” Without free thoughts, peace within, or without a soul that takes flight, no one can become a real artist.

The desire to become an artist first surfaced during his youth, whilst the true objectives of art and painting remained vague and indefinite. He says that they still turn sometimes. Satisfaction with the creative process is subjective, whilst painful self-tolerance and self-purification are sweaty and mournful tasks.

The personal retrospective of paintings by Alexander Rorokin proves this. The artist has on display about 80 works that he has done over the last twenty five years. The author is indeed an outstanding artist. He does not draw a clear line between good and evil, nor has he anything in common with the authoritarian style or with one-sided perception. He does not pretend to be special, a super-normal person, but remains natural and simply unlike others. His internal conflict, and that with the surrounding world is not reflected in his appearance at all.

Hence why the artist avoids crowded places, such as openings and major events. They appear not to interest him. He could be described as “a homely man,” saying that that “whoever came to the exhibition came as if to his home”. It hurts him to come into contact with reality, although he manages to hide his vulnerability behind a show of roughness. But he tries to fit in. His natural character and his lack of faith in himself are thus combined.

Paintings by Alexander Rorokin are peculiar, complex and each one different. Every picture seems to be a living creature, striking out against a soulless world, connecting with space, liberation itself from the darkness, a gap to the light, freedom and beauty. It is full of creative energy, and creates harmony. Rorokin makes his own painting, where the tangible world does not disappear, but changes. He paints creative moments which words often fail to capture.

Depending on the focus and internal mood, the same exhibition could be taken either as an autumn still life or as a Gothic castle.

Apart from paintings the exhibition demonstrates graphics, such as “Family portrait in the interior”, “Interior of 1950s”, “Portrait of P. Y. Zaltsman”. Here we watch technique gained in the Art school of Pavel Zaltsman.

I want to add that apart from painting, Alexander Rorokin participated as a stage-manager in creating of 22 films (including “That who is more tender”, “Death of Otrar”, “Fara”). He has exhibited his works in more than 20 group exhibitions. His creations are exhibited in the Kasteev State Art Theatre, Modern Art Galleries in Moscow, Almaty and in private collections in Kazakhstan, Russia, Australia, the UK, France, the U.S.A., Turkey and other countries.


History of the second Millennium

March 6 1983 Helmut Kohl, the interim chancellor of West Germany since the fall of Helmut Schmidt’s Social Democrat government in the previous year, is elected German chancellor as his Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party is voted back into power.

March 7 1875 - Maurice Ravel, great composer, creator of Bolero, was born.

March 8 1965 Two U.S. Marines battalions, the first U.S. combat troops openly assigned to Vietnam, go ashore near Danang in South Vietnam. Within five days, a total of 3,500 Marines have landed at Danang, joining some 23,000 Americans who had been serving as military advisors to South Vietnam for several years.

March 9 1934 - Yuri Gagarin, the first man to travel in space, was born.

March 9 1943 - Bobby Fischer, chess champion, was born.

March 10 1964 - Prince Edward, son of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, was born.

March 11 1990 Lithuania proclaims its independence from the U.S.S.R., the first Soviet republic to do so. The Soviet government responds by imposing an oil embargo and economic blockade against the Baltic republic.

March 12 1946 - Liza Minnelli, Academy Award-winning actress: Cabaret, was born.


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