Walking Tours

Tour | 01

Life in Pink: Haifa's Queer History

 

Imagining Israel's queer past, it is common to think of Tel-Aviv. Based on several years of research, this tour unearths Haifa's secret queer history. Walking through the neighbourhood of Hadar HaCarmel, this tour tells stories about love, murder, public gardens, police harassment, politicization, struggle, and pride, whose protagonists are lesbians, feminists, homosexuals, trans* people, Jews, and Palestinians.

Tour | 02

Mixed City: Jewish-Arab relations in Haifa
 
Haifa takes pride in being a mixed city, where Jews and Arabs maintain a peaceful coexistence.
Walking through the neighbourhoods of Hadar HaCarmel, Wadi Salib and Downtown, this tour complicates a bit this premise. Instead, it tells the story of intricate relationships, starting in the middle of the nineteenth century, including mixed neighbourhoods, shared labour unions, war, and limited coexistence.

Tour | 03

Red Haifa: A History of A Workers' City
 
The city wasn't nicknamed "Red Haifa" for nothing: its history throughout the 20th century brims with Socialist and Communist activity.
This tour follows the dreams for equality, freedom, peace, and justice, dreamed by the Jewish and Arab dwellers of Haifa.​ We will meet different political parties, several generations of labour unions, and a few social struggles that occurred on the backdrop of Haifa, but rattled the whole country.

Tour | 04

Hadar HaCarmel

Many things could be written about Hadar: it is the historic heart of modern Haifa and the city's first Hebrew neighbourhood, but first and foremost it is a microcosm of the Israeli society. It hosts a mixed population of Jews and Arabs, immigrants and locals, in the entire spectrum of religious observance.

This tour tells the neighbourhood's story, from its establishment in the 1920's, trough its rise in the state's early decades, its fall in the 1980's, and up to the current urban renewal process, that brings up hopes together with questions.

Tour | 05

Downtown
Haifa al-Jadida ("New Haifa") was established ​in 1761 by Zahir al-Umar az-Zaydani, the ruler of northern Palestine, and formed the seed from which downtown Haifa - and modern Haifa in general - will grow.
This tour explores the remnants of  different rulers of the neighbourhood: the Ottomans, who connected Haifa to Istanbul and Mecca via the Hijazi rail line; the British Mandate that inaugurated the modern harbour and oil refineries; and the stated of Israel, whose "Operation Shiqmona" obliterated much of the old city to make room for a new one. Through these remnants we will look at historical narratives, Jewish-Arab relations, and urban development.

Tour | 06

Wadi Salib
Wadi Salib is a visible scar on the city's skin, a mark of past struggles that haven't healed properly yet. On this tour we will navigate between deserted buildings and renewing streets and tell stories about war, political upheaval, and refugeehood.​
We will talk about the neighbourhood's Palestinian past, the Arab Jews who lived in it, the 1948 war, the 1959 Mizrahi protest - first of its kind in the Israel, the neighbourhood's abandonment that followed, and the different attempts for renewal since the 1980's.

Tour | 07

Wadi Nisnas & the German Colony

The Templers, members of the Tempelgesellschaft (Temple Society), a protestant German group, followed their religious belief to Palestine, and established a colony in Haifa in 1868, not too far outside the city's walls. A few decades later the walls were dismantled and the colony merged with Wadi Nisnas, the new Christian neighbourhood of Ottoman Haifa.

Amongst the old houses and churches we will meet characters who shaped the city's and the country's history: clergymen, capitalist, Communist leaders, inspiring writers, and a few exceptional lovers.

Tour | 08

The Ghosts of Haifa

In a narrow strip between Bat Galim's deserted central bus station and the sepulcher of the Talmudic sage Rabbi Avdimi of Haifa, lies a mosaic of graveyards. This tour starts in a Jewish burial cave from Roman times, located in the neighbourhood of Haifa al-Atiqa (ancient Haifa), where the city used to be located until the 18th century. It further visits the Templer, Anglican, British military, and old Jewish cemeteries, and tells the city's history through the ghosts haunting them.

Tour | 09

Holy Haifa: Stella Maris & Elijah's Cave

The bible, in the first Book of Kings, tells us of that "Elijah went up to the top of Carmel". A popular belief, shared by Jews and Mulsims, claims that a cave above the neighibourhood of Bat Galim was used by the prophet. Just above that holy cave, known nowadays as Elijah's Cave, lies the Stella Maris Monastry of our Lady of Mount Carmel, built by the Catholic Carmelite  order in the 12th century. This tour connects both revered place through a downhill walk on a mountain way with a magnificent panoramic view of the bay.

Tour | 10

Siakh Gorge & Bustan Khayat

Haifa has many gorges carving their way through the mountain to the sea. This is a tour to richest in history of them all. Hiking down Siakh Gorge, we will encounter remnants of a Neolithic site and ruins of a church made by hermits in the Crusaders' times, only to arrive a small oasis: Bustan Khayat. Built in the 1930's by the Palestinian entrepreneur, Aziz Khayat, this garden encompasses an orchard and swimming pools watered by a natural spring. There we will tell the unique story of the Khayat family and the history surrounding the garden and the struggle for its conservation.

Had something else in mind?
I'd be happy to custom make a tour for you!
For more details and to book a tour >>

Lectures

Lecture | 01

Haifa's Queer History

This lecture is a product of several years of research, through the Haifa Queer History Project. It tells the story of Haifa's LGBT+ community, starting in the clandestine cruising scene of the 1940's and 50's, through the surprising trans* history of the 60's and 70's, the gay and lesbian-feminist political organizations of the 80's and 90's and the collective struggles of the 2000's, culminating with the establishment of Haifa's LGBT+ centre in 2017. This is a story about murders, pride, police harrasment, Jewish-Arab encounters, and above all - about an inspiring community.

Lecture | 02

Capitalism and LGBT+ Identity

What does the economy have to do with sexual identity? Isn't homosexuality something that existed throughout all human history and cultures?

This talk explores the ways in which capitalism shaped how we think about, talk about, experience, and manifest our sexuality. Starting in the early modern period and reaching up to our postmodern neo-liberal society, it points out at the effect that changes in the economic structure had on sexual identities and politics.

Lecture | 03

Oxchit: Queer Hebrew Dialect

Gurl, are you ready to spill the tea about Oxchit?

This talk is about Oxchit, Hebrew queer slang that is much more than slang. Through examples from interviews with queer Israelis and from the media, I will decode for you its linguistic features and cultural meaning.

Lecture | 04

A Double Life: Homosexuality on a Kibbutz & in Israeli Dance

Based on my MA thesis, this lecture follows Giyora Manor - a homosexual Kibbutz member that was a prominent figure in Israeli theatre and dance, mainly as a critique. Manor provides us with a unique opportunity to look at the lives of men who loved men during the four decades between the founding of Israel in 1948 and the decriminalization of homosexual sex in 1988.

Lecture | 05

Mascara & Glitter: A History of Drag

Drag is a deceiving art form that plays with gender and identity, but during several chapters in history it was much more. This talk presents a fraction of the vast history of cross-dressing, while focusing on the relations between gender fluidity and the stage, the evolution of drag as an art form and the historical political role drag queens and kings played in Israel and elsewhere.

Lecture | 06

Queer Time

We measure time not only in hours, days and years. We think of the past and expect the future also through life event: a wedding, career breakthrough, the son's bar-mitzvah. People who live outside normative gender and/or sexuality often have different ways to think of time. This lecture asks philosophical and social questions about the ways our sexuality and gender affect our experience of time and different family structures affect our perception of history and future.

Had something else in mind?
I'd be happy to custom make a lecture for you!
For more details and to book a lecture >>

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© by Dotan Brom