Once I Entered in a Garden
by Avi Mograbi
It begins with a dream about an impossible encounter between Avi Mograbi and his grandfather, Ibrahim, outside their Damascus home in 1920. What language did they speak? Avi’s Arabic is rudimentary, while his grandfather Ibrahim had yet to learn Hebrew. In the dream, Avi’s grandfather informs him that the family has decided to leave Syria for Palestine, Damascus for Tel-Aviv. In the dream, Avi decides to stay. “You go to Palestine,” he tells his grandfather, “I’ll stay here and look after the house.” So as to bring the dream to life, Avi turns to his Arabic teacher, Ali Al-Azhari, offering him a filmic partnership, to make a movie together, “to the last touch,” as Ali puts it.