More in my Good News Friday series.
My first item for this week is slightly frivolous, and yet it has more important implications for the anti-BDS campaigners: Israeli designer Kobi Levy’s highly unusual, not to say eccentric, shoes are begin sold in the UK’s high-end Selfridge’s department store:
When a shoe designer is as creatively outlandish as Kobi Levi, making stilettos in which the heel looks like a wad of bubble gum stretching up from the street or the skinny pink leg of a flamingo, it’s not much of a surprise that the rest of the world wants to experience his footwear.
Now shoppers at London’s high-end Selfridges department store get to have a look at Levi’s designs in a pop-up boutique that opened Monday in the store’s Shoe Galleries.
“We’re excited to bring Kobi Levi’s designs to a wider audience as the first UK stockist of the collection,” said Helen Attwood, buying manager for Shoes at Selfridges, who first caught sight of Levi’s footwear art in a magazine. “Kobi’s work is a perfect fit for the Shoe Galleries, which was designed to be a home for the most creative and pioneering talent in footwear design.”
Have a look at Levy’s other unusual shoe designs, and may the boycotters sizzle in frustration while we enjoy a dose of schadenfreude.
My next item comes via the No Camels website (love the name! It’s an Israeli site dedicated to Israel’s innovations in all fields). This piece of good news describes an Arab-Israeli solution for clean energy:
Arab-Israeli company Yafa has developed a unique way of harvesting the sun’s energy for clean energy purposes. The company’s founder, Salih Manasra, has recently won a prestigious European Union EUREKA (Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration) grant for this innovation.
Yafa Energy, a four-person company, is the first Arab-Israeli firm to win the EU grant, which was awarded to Mansara by Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office, and he hopes it will be the first Arab-run company to put energy into the hands of people who need it most.
After two decades of work with such automotive giants as Opel and GM, developing innovative efficient car engines, Yafa engineers, alongside a German partner, have developed a kind of solar trough, which collects energy from the sun.
The solar thermal energy is converted directly to steam to drive turbines in factories, or cool industrial processes, while additional energy derived from the system is turned into electric power that can be used by the factory or sold back to the grid.
The hybrid system aims to make a solar thermal system cost-effective, smart and capable of radically changing energy usage by manufacturers of traditional commodities like cement, textiles and edibles. These industries tend to be based in poorer countries, operate in hot climates, and consume more energy than high-tech industries.
“Keep in mind that the energy-needs for industrial processes in these countries are most critical during the day when the sun is shining,” says Manasara, “We are generating steam for industrial applications, and to date there is no electrical system that can compete with this; no photovoltaic panel that can collect enough heat to get to this level. Same with a diesel boiler. There is no equivalent to pure solar thermal.”
Manasra says that Yafa Energy hopes to use its Arab-Israeli team to crack into the Middle Eastern market, approaching countries like Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Jordan. The company has already obtained the attention of the World Bank’s International Financing Committee, which recognized the technology as a “product of major interest.” The World Bank is involved in negotiations toward a commercial deal in Jordan, where solar thermal energy is recognized as a renewable energy priority.
Kol hakavod to Salih Manasra who has invented this very important innovation, which is potentially of enormous value to the entire region. The fact that he is an Arab-Israeli is both excellent news for the Israeli Arab community and he is proof positive that the stories about “apartheid” Israel are simply smears and propaganda.
And I’ll finish up this week’s installment with yet another personal item: This Shabbat is the Shabbat Kallah (Bride’s Shabbat) for our daughter who is getting married (please G-d) this Wednesday. We (hubby and I) have been unceremoniously chucked out of our house (we’re going to our married daughter instead) and it will be an all-girls weekend in our home (gulp!). We’re sure that Vered will have a marvellous time with all her good friends, celebrating the end of her single-hood (as if she’s so old) and getting into the wedding mood.
However we’re not so sure that our cat Joey is party to these sentiments. I rather feel we will find her at the end of Shabbat cowering in the corner of our walk-in closet, safely buried under a pile of woolly sweaters.
Shabbat shalom everyone!