BuzzFeed’s end of the year list “13 Ways We Were Inspired And Amazed By Israel In 2013” is a fun and poignant read that may elicit a smile and then trigger a tear. Virtually all of the stories were covered by ISRAEL21c throughout the year.
The column kicks off with Yityish Aynaw becoming the first Ethiopian-Israeli to be crowned Miss Israel. Aynaw makes a second appearance on the Top 13 when she met her personal hero, US President Barack Obama.
“I was influenced and inspired by Obama. Like him, I was also raised by my grandmother. Nothing was handed to me on a plate, and like him I also had to work very hard and long to achieve things in my life. To this day he inspires me just as he inspires the rest of the world,” Aynaw told the BBC.
President Shimon Peres celebrated 90 this past year and showed that a brain-tech conference with a concert by Barbra Streisand is the way to ring in a new year.
Other memorable and noteworthy culture events – as listed on BuzzFeed – include Quentin Tarantino’s endorsement for Indie Israeli film, Big Bad Wolves; the world’s biggest Harlem Shake in Tel Aviv; and an Israeli restaurant that gave customers a 50 percent discount if they kept their cell phones off the table.
The article also spotlights Israel’s Tikkun Olam tenets: Israel’s aid teams to the Philippines slotted in ninth on the list while the country’s Guinness World Record for hair donation to cancer patients ranked 12th.
And, as the Startup Nation, there were two big technology moments to remember in 2013 according to the article: Google’s $1.03 billion acquisition of Waze and the Cornell-Technion partnership for a new NYC campus.
There was also the amazing story of the Israeli-made drug called FoamOtic that saved an endangered Sumatran Tiger.
Finally, rounding out the list, Jerusalem of White – two record-breaking snowstorms covered the capital in snow.