Young Is­raeli keen to ed­u­cate on his coun­try

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS - Liana Walker [email protected]­der­post.com.au

IS­RAEL is not con­stantly at war and Ju­daism is not just a re­li­gion.

These are just two of the com­mon mis­con­cep­tions Micha Megged wants to teach the peo­ple of the Gran­ite Belt about.

The 21-year-old is in Aus­tralia for a work­ing hol­i­day but along the way is hop­ing to ed­u­cate lo­cals about Is­raeli cul­ture, Ju­daism and He­brew.

“I thought, why not of­fer my­self as some­one who can talk about the Is­raeli ex­pe­ri­ence and the Jewish ex­pe­ri­ence but the main idea was to teach my main lan­guage,” he said.

“The whole idea came when I met a po­lice of­fi­cer, he stopped me for just a ran­dom check and when he heard I was from Is­rael he got ex­cited and asked me ques­tions.

“He’d been there a few times, then I re­alised here in Stan­thorpe there is a de­mand for that kind of thing.”

Mr Megged was born in Is­rael and lived in Jerusalem for the past three years. He lived most of his child­hood in a small town but he said it was very dif­fer­ent to Stan­thorpe.

“Here ev­ery­thing is so spread out,” he said.

“It was a re­ally small town in size as well.

“Be­cause Is­rael is a small coun­try, the town was near ev­ery­thing, 20 min­utes from a big city. Here it’s like the mid­dle of nowhere.”

He said most Aus­tralians he en­coun­tered knew very lit­tle about Is­rael.

“A lot peo­ple ei­ther say ‘I thought you were in war right now’ or they say ‘You must be re­ally good in money’,” he said.

“Well no, most of the peo­ple are just reg­u­lar peo­ple.”

It hasn’t been all good in Mr Megged’s time here.

“They hear I’m from Is­rael and they’ll have a lot to say about that, neg­a­tive things,” he said.

“I ac­tu­ally met that on Face­book more than I have on the street. Some peo­ple started ac­cus­ing me of killing peo­ple and peo­ple think I’m re­spon­si­ble for those things.”

Mr Megged hoped through ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple they would have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the coun­try.

“I find when peo­ple are will­ing to lis­ten they un­der­stand the sit­u­a­tion is com­plex and there’s no one so­lu­tion,” he said.

❝ Some peo­ple started ac­cus­ing me of killing peo­ple ...

— Micha Megged

PHOTO: LIANA WALKER

AWARE­NESS: Micha Megged wears a shirt that says “Stand­ing to­gether” in He­brew and Ara­bic.

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