Marie Claire
June 2007
(Great Britain)

Marie Claire
September 2007

Click images to read the articles

Joods Journaal
Autumn 2006 (Netherlands)
ALT for damerne
June 2007
Update January 2006
Update November 2005

Update June 2004
Update June 2003

Kinneret's story: 

Kinneret Boosany:
‘I have only one goal: to get better’

She moves slowly and gently through the corridors of the revalidation-center on her way to one of her daily therapy-session. She is here the longest and knows everybody. They all receive a warm smile. ‘I have been lucky. I still have both of my legs, my arms and I can still see with one eye. Some of my friends here are in a much worse condition.’
Kinneret Boosany, 24 year old, was working behind the bar of ‘My Coffeeshop’ on the corner of Allenby and Bialik street, when a Palestinian suicide-bomber choose this crowded place to blow himself up. He killed one person and wounded dozens; some in very critical condition. Because of the alcohol stalled behind the bar, Kinneret’s body burned almost completely during the blast. She was unconscious for four months and nobody knew if she would live. The doctors only gave her a 16% chance. But she did survive. And now she faces her own personal battle with only one goal: getting well and back to some kind of normal life.

It happened on March 30th 2002, only 3 days after the devastating suicide attack of Palestinian militants in Netanya which put operation ‘Defense Wall’ of the Israeli army into motion. The endless spiral of escalating violence continues, day after day. It seems that only the survivors and the families and friends of all involved will remember the exact date and consequences of this specific terror-attack. Many went before and many came after. Just too many to remember them all by heart. ‘This attack was just a little one compared to so many others. Even one journalist who came here to talk to me was confused about which terrorist-attack on Allenby street I had been in’, says Kinneret, well aware of daily news reality.

Almost four months she is now undergoing treatment in the revalidation-center of Sheba hospital at Tel Hashomer near Tel Aviv. Her whole body and face are burned very bad, her left ear is almost gone, she lost sight in her right eye, parts of her fingers of her left hand had to be amputated and half of her lungs is gone.
The therapy-sessions are painful but she knows she has to go through these treatments to reach her goal. She is very determined. In about two weeks she will be going home, although she still needs to have therapy every day.
More than two years of recovery and a lot of surgeries lie ahead of her. Kinneret: ‘I am blessed with a warm family and friends and an amazing boyfriend. I am so much looking forward going home again to live with him and our two dogs. Although I know I am going to fall into a black whole. The burn-center, the revalidation-center, they have been my home. It is all I know since this happened eight months ago and everything changed. Here I am normal, one of all. But I am not normal! And people will stare at me. I don’t want pity. I just want to be normal again. It is not going to be easy. And what I love the most, the sun, the sea………. I can’t stand the heat no more. I am also not sure if I will be able to continue with my studies. I need my hands to do massage. It is not certain yet how well they will be able to fix my fingers.’

Kinneret, the youngest of three sisters, was taking a break from her study reflexology, trying to enjoy her life in Tel Aviv with her boyfriend Tal. She loved dancing. Living day by day, taking the dogs for a walk on the beach, working in the coffee-shop to pay the rent and bring food to the table. Relaxing at home and not taking the situation too heavy on her shoulders. ‘Before this terror-attack I did not really care about politics. Last elections I did not vote and my boyfriend did not ask me to go either. You just try to live your life. Okay, the economical situation got worse. So you spent a little less and eat from hand to mouth. But you choose to live like that. It is not denial of the situation. I just didn’t get into it. I still don’t.’

‘A while ago another reporter came for an interview. At the end he asked me about my political beliefs. I told him: just look at me, you ass….! I am totally burned. You think I care now about the war between the Jews and the Arabs? Every day I struggle within this personal war.’ Kinneret’s voice trembles, still a bit upset about this question.
‘I know the situation here is very, very difficult. And it doesn’t go anywhere; no perspective. Most of my friends, people of my age, don’t really know why they should stay here, if it is not for studying, because that might be easier here in Israel or they get some financial help from their family. It is not really clear to them why a person wants to be here in Israel. Life here is so hard, so tiring and taking all your energy. Of course I look at things differently since this happened. Problems I had before like quarrels with my boss, worries about getting fat because I ate too much chocolate, I don’t know……stuff like that, it is nothing compared to this! In the beginning it was only a matter of survival. Then when I came out of intensive care, I was very happy. I was alive! Everybody told me how strong I was. I wasn’t angry, I didn’t ask the question why, I was just happy to be alive. And I just took it as my destiny, my lesson. I had to make the best of it’, Kinneret says and pauses for a little while.
‘But some days you do ask why, and you are angry. Something of which I thought that I was beyond, this anger. But no, I had this period I could not even talk normal. Shouting to everybody next to me and only speaking with anger in my voice. Specially to my mother, the one the closest to me. Because you know she will never go’, laughs Kinneret.
‘It does give you a totally different perspective on life. But it is all still so very fresh. Everything is very temporary and it all changes so fast. Yet all is so very real. If you are angry, you are really angry. If you are happy, you are really happy. And right now the only thing I want, is to get better again.’

© Shirley Barenholz, 29 November 2002

June 2003 - UPDATE

In November 2002 I met the 24-year old Kinneret Boosany in the revalidation-center at Sheba hospital near Tel Aviv. Eight months before she had hardly survived a suicide-terror attack and she is fighting her battle for recovery ever since. While I was photographing her during ten days in the revalidation-center we became friends. Now she is back home, and it is my intention to continue photographing her story and her recovery:

‘You think there is really still a chance for peace now?’ she asks me with a soft voice and a little sparkle in her eyes. It is a question often heard these days in Israel; but coming from her it is given an extra dimension, as it comes from a soul who looked the evil of terror straight in the eyes.
More than a year has passed since the life of Kinneret completely changed, as a suicide-bomber chose ‘My Coffeeshop’ on Allenby Street in Tel Aviv for his final action in life: blowing himself up and destroying as many Israeli lives as possible. Kinneret does not remember these moments of fatal tragedy that mutilated her body, but every day she faces the consequences, as she tries to pick up her normal life again. But even with years of therapy and surgery ahead, her spirit is up and strong: ‘I was re-born’.

© Shirley Barenholz, June 2003

Kinneret before

June 2003

June 2003

Kinneret’s photo-story is available for publication. Please view the selection of photographs in the right column that shows the earlier to recent period. A wider selection of photography is digital available. The text below accompanies the first part of the photos. An updated text in story-form or sub-text can be provided as well.

To be able to continue photographing Kinneret Boosany’s revalidation- and recovery process, all funds or sponsoring will be very much appreciated. Please contact Shirley Barenholz for all details.

June 2004 - UPDATE

In June 2004 Kinneret underwent a nine-hour operation on her left hand in Sheba hospital near Tel Aviv. The doctors are trying to bring back more movement in her mutilated fingers. The recovery-process after each operation is painful, but Kinneret is determined in her struggle to regain a normal life. A few months later the operation seems successful. She can move her fingers much more than before. Another step forward has been made, yet Kinneret will have to undergo many more operations in the future.

See the photos of this period (thumbnails will show up on the right)

© Shirley Barenholz, June 2004

November 2005 - UPDATE

Kinneret moved to a new apartment in Florentine in the South of Tel Aviv. She started to work as an assistant film editor and now studies animation, after creating her first own video-art clip, based on Japanese Manga, in which she expresses her deepest emotions after the suicide-attack.
As ‘an ambassador’ for survivors of suicide-attacks in Israel, she frequently travels abroad to share her story with different audiences in Europe and The States to create better understanding for the situation of the many survivors and raise money for the rehabilitation-centers.

See the photos of this period (thumbnails will show up on the right)

Kinneret December 2004 Florentine, Tel Aviv, Israel
Kinneret May 2005 Florentine, Tel Aviv, Israel
Kinneret September 2005 Parents Friday-night diner, Petach Tikva, Israel
Kinneret October 2005 Amsterdam, Holland

© Shirley Barenholz, November 2005

January 2006 - UPDATE

Multi-media-installation 'Open Eye - Open I; The Battle after Terror'

in Gallery of Ifa (Institute for Foreign Relations) in Berlin

January 26th 2006 - The multimedia installation was exhibited at the Ifa Gallery in Berlin, during a special projectweek about 'Terror'. Kinneret contributed with a 5 minute video clip, based on Japanese manga, in which she expresses her deepest emotions after the suicide bomb attack that changed her life for ever. Furthermore the installation existed out of 67 photographs of Kinneret's rehabilitation process from 2002 to 2006 and the poem 'To the Terrorist' by Nava Semel from the children's poetry book 'The Courage to be Afraid'.

Click here to read the extended description of installation.

© Shirley Barenholz, January 2006

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