In 2007, the “United Buddy Bears“ stood hand in hand in Cairo along the River Nile, for the first time promoting their international unifying message in an Arab country. In summer, they arrived in Jerusalem, where the municipality facilitated the exhibition on Safra Square right in front of the town hall and in close proximity to the Old Town. The Buddy Bears advocated living together in peace and harmony until 16th September.
Please read the Messages of Greeting by the Foreign Minister of Israel Tzipi Livni and the Foreign Minister of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
The Senior Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem, Yigal Amedi and the patron of the exhibition, Iris Berben were among the 1,000 guests invited to the opening event on 1st August. In her inaugural address, Iris Berben stressed the importance of learning from history, at the same urging her audience to practise mutual tolerance: The Buddy Bears (…) should remind us that only TOGETHER we have a chance. Like the bears we have to outstretch our hand and take other’s outstretched hands in ours.”
The Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni sent her greetings, describing the “United Buddy Bears“ exhibition as the “possible realization of vision of the prophets of a united and peace lovin world".
The set-up of the “United Buddy Bears“ in Jerusalem was particularly symbolic: The municipality asked for the Israeli bear to be placed between the Iraqi bear and the Iranian bear, thus creating a unique symbolic gesture. It was also remarkable that the Palestinian bear is represented in the circle of the 132 peacefully united bears. In 2007, it was created by Ibrahim Hazimeh, the President of the Palestinian National Committee for the Visual Arts at the AIAP / UNESCO.
The exhibition owes its origin and the possibility to be visited all over the world completely free of charge to the committed work of many institutions, organisations, administrative bodies, companies and individuals.
For supporting the 12th exhibition of the United Buddy Bears in Jerusalem we want to thank: