Once a week, if the weather allowed it, we harnessed the wooden wagon to our donkey and climbed to the Zaid Hills. A walking distance from our home, we traveled until the view of the Jezreel Valley spread before our eyes, just before the sun disappeared behind Mount Carmel, and as the last rays of light painted the fields below in golden shades. I remember the trail I used to take to my high school, through the valley and under the great oaks, where I fell in love for the first time and searched for solitude when my heart broke. I remember endless nights of stargazing on the roof of the Sheikh Abriek shrine. We sat there for hours, with hot Turkish coffee, surrounded by green spiky sabras, breathing the sweet air of our childhood landscape.
Started in 2012, this ongoing project portrays my family and close friends in the place that has provided the backdrop for my youth - the Shikun-Ella neighborhood. Established in the fifties by 15 families who left the Kibbutz Movement, it's located on the outskirts of Kiryat Tivon, my small hometown in northern Israel. When I was twelve, we moved there - my mother and her partner, each with three kids - and ever since I carried my camera everywhere. I captured our daily life and quiet moments in our cozy house, or the widespread backyard. Nature was all around us, the pine groves, the fields, and the winding valleys were our playground. Over the years, I bore witness to time as people got older, trees gave way to saplings and my friends moved on from toys to beers.