When I started this production I was disconnected from the local reality, from the feelings of Sderot's people on the one side and especially from the people of Gaza.
While working, I started understanding there's another side of the coin here. Over Face book, I made some friends, had fun and laughs with them, suddenly I was communicating. A sympathy to the other side developed: here are young people, like me. They have the same needs and dreams.
I also learned about what it means to live in Sderot: I used to visit here as a student in Sapir College, but I wasn't so connected to the people, to the life they have. I didn't know about waking up in the middle of the night to rocket alarms. During the first 'Red Color' alert I had while working on Gaza/Sderot, I would consider if to run to the nearest bomb shelter or just keep walking, assuming 'it won't happen to me'. In one of our last days in the office, a rocket fell a few hundred meters away, just as we were leaving to the parking lot. And last Wednesday, as I was visiting Sason at his grocery store, a rocket was whistling over our heads before a loud boom was heard - the rocket fell in a nearby shopping center. These are things I didn't feel before. What a mess…
Now the production is over, I feel I've entered a vacuum. In a few days I must go to mandatory reserve army service. I will serve as an infantry soldier doing routine security missions such as patrols and manning checkpoints somewhere at the west bank.
I feel this situation is absurd. I've just spent three months working on a project where I felt a door opening. Some form of communication was developing; we were starting to look at each other in the eyes.
Now this illusion is over… Last Thursday, the official ceasefire is over, the rockets came back hard, the army is talking about a big operation inside Gaza and I'm going to be a reserve soldier, going back to the reality of being an Israeli citizen.
One thing is for sure: I'll keep talking to my new friends.