And Though Thy Beginning Was Small, Yet Thy End Should Greatly Increase
Or Akiva is a city located in the country’s coastal plain. It is located just inland from the ancient port city of Caesarea and the Mediterranean Sea and halfway between two main cities: Haifa and Tel Aviv. In April 1951, the Jewish Agency transferred four families from the transition Absorption camp to the sand dunes of Caesarea to establish a new settlement. Five days later they were joined by 38 families who came from Romania. Initially the village was named Hof Hacarmel Camp and in June 1953, the name changed to “Or Akiva” named after Rabbi Akiva, who was one of the ten martyrs, tortured and executed by the Romans in nearby Caesarea, in the second century AD .
Over the years, the city has been absorbing immigrants from various countries, such as Morocco, the Soviet Union, Poland, India, Caucasus and many more. In 1992, there was a significant turning point in the development of the city due to the arrival of a large group of immigrants from the former USSR. The population of Or Akiva increased by 42% and as a result there came a need to construct and establish new neighborhoods, public institutions and a variety of services for the new residents. Or Akiva Municipality is currently developing a master plan due in 2025 where the goal is to increase the city’s population to 40,000 residents.
In the summer of 2014 I moved to the city with my family. This project started by wandering around the new environment and documenting the growing and revival of the city. As in my previous work, I found myself fascinated by the changes occurring in the natural and urban environment and their relationship.
all images and text © Yaniv Waissa