Eileen and I took advantage of a beautiful Shabbat and went for a walk in Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv. We had walked maybe 200 yards when we came upon this colorful and rare scene in Israel, an Eritrean wedding.
Eritrea is a small country located in the Horn of Africa. Illegal immigration from Africa to Israel which is often also referred to as infiltration by the Israeli media and by Israeli government organizations, refers to the act of African nationals entering Israel in violation of Israeli law. Sound familiar? This illegal immigration began in the second half of the 2000, when a large number of immigrants from Africa entered Israel, mainly through the fenced border between Israel and Egypt. According to the data of the Israeli Interior Ministry, the number of these illegal immigrants amounted to 26,635 people to July 2010, and over 55,000 in January 2012. Most of the African immigrants come from Eritrea and the Sudan. They work as laborers, cleaners, and all the other menial jobs that Israelis don’t like to do. They are mostly Christian and Muslim. (In fact, there is only one Jew still living in Eritrea). Currently, the Israeli government is attempting to deport them.
As for the wedding, Eileen has been living in Israel since 1971 and has NEVER seen anything like this. Their clothing and jewelry were beautiful and obviously expensive and Eritreans in Israel are poor, poor, and even poorer. So, these folks must have been special. We tried to find out more details but could not.
When the photo session ended, they headed to their chartered bus and limo to points unknown. But, before getting on the bus they broke into a spontaneous dance on the bike path. You can see part of the dancing at:
What a nice day to be in Israel!