Flea Market Mincha Time, Yafo, Israel, 2009
Flea Market Mincha Time, Yafo, Israel, 2009Click to Enlarge
In Jaffa, the port neighborhood which is part of the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality, the centrally-located fleamarket (shuk) is like thousands of others across the Middle East, an environment of hustling, hollering and haggling. All of these changes at midday, when the hot Mediterranean sun is at its peak and for twenty minutes many of the shopkeepers, workers and customers gather under the shade of a store’s awning to pray the mincha service together.
When asked if he knew about this occurrence and planned for the shot, photographer Zion Ozeri said “you cannot plan something like this… I was walking around, it was midday, and all of a sudden I see people start to gather at this shop. I went across and I asked what’s going on. After I found out, I crossed back to the other side of the street and waited. To take the photo I had to stand in the middle of the street with cars passing– not something that I would recommend! I took the photograph while they were praying … they’re just concentrating on their prayer for 20 minutes with the whirl of the market around them and then everybody goes back to their everyday work. We usually think of a place of prayer as having walls. But it’s not necessarily so… you just have to close up shop and stop for a few minutes and pray if you wish.”