Avi Taranto

Avi Taranto is a tour guide in Tel Aviv. He is originally from New York. I love hearing from people who have lived in multiple countries, because they tend to have a broader perspective on life than those of us who have stayed in one place (me).  In 2015, he wrote some pieces for The Times of Israel, and so much of it seems relevant to what we are currently dealing with in the U.S.

"It is in the best interest of the State of Israel for her citizens to wish each other good and not ill fortune. The only way to achieve this is for them to know one another, because racist beliefs are reinforced in isolation. Nothing breaks the illusion of otherness like the encounter with sameness."

- Avi Taranto, The Times of Israel

Nothing breaks the illusion of otherness like the encounter with sameness.

"Since I opened my Instagram account @respectthetour just over a year ago, I have over six thousand followers [now thirteen thousand] many of whom are from enemy states whose citizens are barred access to Israel and whose countries I am likewise forbidden to visit. Following them has given me a glimpse of the tremendous beauty in Iran, Indonesia, and the Arabian Peninsula."

- Avi Taranto, The Times of Israel

 

When I started THE STREETS, it was my desire to find and show the beauty in strangers - to connect with people who are different from us in order to find the "sameness". It seems that Avi and I are trying to do similar work in different ways. To read more about Avi, get Issue Four here.

Meredith M Howard is a photographer who lives in Atlanta, Georgia.  She was inspired to start THE STREETS magazine after many conversations with strangers in downtown Atlanta.