will.i.am and I Come Full Circle Courtesy of Obama

Avid readers of my blog know that during the 2008 US elections I was inspired by will.i.am‘s Yes We Can video, so much so that I decided to do my part and create a few pro-Obama designs in Hebrew and make them available for download for free. Well, after Obama won, the Black Eyed Peas’ frontman released a new song called It’s A New Day, which features loads of still shots from the night Obama won – and guess whose banner is shown (for less than a second) within these photos?
That’s right, the Associated Press photo that was featured on HuffPo’s front page has made its way into this video. It seems my ‘electing Obama’ adventures started with will.i.am and ended with will.i.am:
A frame from will.i.am's It's a New Day video

Now, I knew everyone gets to be famous for 15 minutes, I just did not realize in the 21st century it means you get a million people’s attention for half a second. Here’s the video, make sure not to blink at 38 seconds:
httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wai6OM3YKTk
Continue reading will.i.am and I Come Full Circle Courtesy of Obama

President Barack Hussein Obama II

It is quite remarkable how something as trivial as a person’s middle name can be used as a source of shame one day, and as a source of pride the next day. Many people much smarter than me will write about the day in history when the citizens of the US grew up, and for the first time in a long time chose the most qualified person for the highest office in the land.

As someone who is not a US citizen and could not vote in the elections, I can still say I have done my part, however small, and proudly announce that I helped elect Barack Obama. Like millions of others, I, too, was inspired by the man and the campaign he ran. The Hebrew graphics I designed were viewed thousands of times and the files I made available were downloaded hundreds and hundreds of times.

Here’s today’s front page of the Huffington Post:
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Back in February 2008, my original post was first called “We Need a Mentch in the White House”. One year later, in January 2009, I would be able to proudly proclaim: We Have a Mentch in the White House!


Hebrew Obama Poster: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN | frgdr.com

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

Thanks to Tony Jassen, an Obama supporter from Jerusalem, who brought the photo to my attention:

Shahar –
 
Once again I can’t say thank you enough for the graphic and letting us use it.
As you can see, we have made a difference. […]
[The photo] was taken at Mike’s Place Jerusalem at an election watch party sponsored by Democrats Abroad – Israel and attended by us, Israelis for Obama, among others. There were about 50 or so people there all night, mostly college students, watching the results. The picture was taken, if I am not mistaken, among celebrations of the first moments when the final results came in.
 
Tony

Hebrew Obama Merchandize Spotted in New Hampshire

I started designing Hebrew pro-Obama graphics eight months ago in response to the Rovian smear campaign that was peaking at the time. I was appalled by the Newspeak that started gaining more and more strength, even to the point of bringing down prominent democrats with ‘as far as I know’ statements, changing discussions about ‘the war’ to discussions about ‘the surge’, pushing the ol’ familiar dichotomy of ‘one of us’ versus ‘one of them’.

Now, each day scores of people visit my Obama posts, usually because Google in its infinite wisdom has ranked them high in the image search results, but since I never expected my symbolic protest to go beyond its virtual existence, I am amazed to get from time to time evidence of my design crossing to the real world. Yesterday I got an email from an Obama supporter in Massachusetts named Brian, saying:

Shahar,
 
Attached are two photos of me campaigning for Obama in New Hampshire in a Yes Oui Ken shirt. A group of friends all went to New Hampshire together, and we went from house to house talking to people about the need for a change. We had many good conversations. […] Afterwards I wore the shirt to a dinner with a group of Rabbis and Jewish friends, and they all loved the design. […]
 
L’shalom
Brian

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If you want a shirt like Brian’s, or want to show your Obama pride in a button, just download the graphics, and use CafePress, Zazzle, or similar online printing services – or go green and visit your local print shop:


Hebrew Obama Poster: CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN | frgdr.com

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

Hebrew Obama Poster: YES OUI KEN | frgdr.com

News Wires Cover Obama’s Israel Visit …And My Hebrew Poster

Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days.

        – – Ecclesiastes 11:1

While I knew that the Hebrew Obama poster I designed has been viewed thousands of times, I could not tell if the high resolution files I made available were ever printed and used in a rally. Until yesterday:

All the major news wires covering Barack Obama’s Israeli visit, including The New York Times and The Associated Press – all mentioned a group of Israeli supporters holding a ‘Change We Can Believe In’ Hebrew banner. This sounded really nice, but when I started seeing photos taken by the various wires, I got really excited. A couple of hours later, I got an email from a group called Israelis for Obama, updating me on their usage of my graphics. They downloaded the design off my website and printed out loads of flyers and one big banner. Then they followed Obama’s visit route, showing support all over Jerusalem.

Here are a few photos I found:

  A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) stands outside his hotel in Jerusalem July 22, 2008.
A supporter of US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) stands outside his hotel in Jerusalem July 22, 2008.
REUTERS/Jim Young
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew 'change in which we can believe' as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres' residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem.
Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew ‘change in which we can believe’ as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres’ residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem. Obama started his visit to Israel and the West Bank during which he will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images
  Supporters of US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hold a banner reading in Hebrew 'change in which we can believe' as they gather in front of Israeli President Shimon Peres' residence where Obama and Peres are meeting on July 23, 2008 in Jerusalem.
Road Blog: Israel, the Day in Pictures – July 23, 2008
Obama for America Campaign Headquarters
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) hold a banner printed with his name in Hebrew as they wait for his arrival at the Western wall in Jerusalem July 23, 2008.
Supporters of U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) hold a banner printed with his name in Hebrew as they wait for his arrival at the Western wall in Jerusalem July 23, 2008.
REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Media Mention: Shahar Golan Interviews with Haaretz Newspaper

I was interviewed for an article that was published today in the English edition of Haaretz newspaper, in regards to the 2008 US presidential election. Here are the relevant last two paragraphs:

As the U.S. presidential race reaches Israel, Hebrew-language campaigners try to choose words wisely

By Raphael Ahren

[…]

Some political items are created by people who can’t even vote in the United States. Obama supporter Shahar Golan, of Rehovot, crafted a poster with the Hebrew translation of the slogan “Change we can believe in.” After a smear campaign tried denouncing the Illinois senator as a Muslim, Golan felt he had to publicly declare his support for “Baruch Obama,” as he calls him. “As a born and bred Israeli, my interest in the U.S. elections is mainly because American presidents tend to influence the entire world,” the 31-year-old photographer and graphic designer said.” And since I cannot vote myself I create graphics that hopefully might call attention to a candidate worth voting for.” Currently, Golan is working on a new poster featuring a Hebrew version of Obama’s “Yes we can” slogan.

Golan knows that translations can be tricky. On his blog, he elaborated on his choice of words. “Translating ‘Change we can believe in’ proved to be somewhat of a challenge,” he muses, “as the Hebrew word for ‘we can’ (nuchal) is the exact one for ‘crook’ (nochel).” Not wanting to repeat past mistakes, he added that “even a hint of such subliminal connections can be bad.”

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Click image for higher resolution

Joy Cometh in the Morning, Delivered By the Paperboy

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Yesterday, in front of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Obama delivered an historic speech. Instead of the usual speech that every other politician gives, which basically show affection without backing it up with any specific commitments (‘we stand with Israel… Israel is strong… I cried at Yad Vashem… Bla bla bla…‘) – instead of that, Obama made elaborate and unprecedented commitments including:

  • keeping US aid at 30 billion dollars over the next decade
  • unequivocal commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon
  • rejection of the Palestinian right of return
  • Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – undivided

Now that Baruch Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee, do yourself a favor and invest 35 minutes of your time to listen to one whole speech by the senator. Each day I watch in dismay how the TV channels summarize a speech to a 30 seconds sound bite, and while each day it is a different speech, the sound bites are almost the same: Change-change-change, Hope-hope-hope, Yes we can. People who say Obama has nothing but slogans to offer – this is for you:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cOJNC2EuJw

Full transcript, below the fold:
Continue reading Joy Cometh in the Morning, Delivered By the Paperboy