Beersheva - From Camel Market to Cultural and Innovation Hub
Updated: Jun 21
From the time Abraham dug 7 wells there some 3800 years ago [giving the place its name] until about 10 years ago, nothing really happened in Beersheva. Okay, there was that one day on October 31, 1917 when the last great cavalry charge happened (shout-out to the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade). Generally however, unless you wanted to take a picture at the Israeli Air Force Museum or buy a camel at the now-closed camel market, there really wasn't much to do in the city. As a tour guide of Israel, there was not really ever a compelling reason to visit. It didn't even make my list of "Top 160 things to Experience in Israel." https://www.listchallenges.com/top-160-things-to-experience-in-israel
All that is now changing. In the past decade the city has become an innovation hub partly due to the IDF moving bases from the center of the country to the desert. Along with the IDF, "today in Beersheva the innovation ecosystem is comprised of a collaboration between Ben Gurion University, Soroka University Medical Center, the city of Beersheva, the Advanced Technologies Research Park (ATP) including some 70 companies, the government, and several incubators." For more on this phenomenon, check out these two articles: https://www.jpost.com/cybertech/building-an-innovation-ecosystem-in-the-desert-631654
There is also a burgeoning arts & culture scene in Beersheva. While the Negev Museum of Art has been getting some serious recognition in year past, there is so much more now to do in Beersheva. There is both a renowned children's museum and science museum, a gorgeous Abraham's Well visitors center, numerous dance companies, theaters and festivals and yes, even a museum dedicated to that glorious day in 1917. Check out all this and more about Beersheva's resurgence here:
Looks like I am going to have to schedule a day or two to visit the city in the near future :).
For those who will miss the Bedouin market, check out the cringe-worthy clip (you'll understand why) from 1947 just below the photo...
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