AI future of Gaza #1. C-Print, variable size, .
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work in progress

Yah ribon alam v’al’maya ant hu malka melekh malkhaya.

Israel ben Moses Najara, “Yah Ribon”

When my son was fighting in Gaza, every day I looked closely at the map of this area. At first I just wanted to guess where he is now and what is happening to him. At that time, I constantly thought about my son, about our soldiers and the people who live there. After some time, the map of Gaza began to seem alive and moving to me. I recognized places, determined distances, and it seems that I could even navigate there relatively freely. At the same time, I began to study the history of Gaza. It turned out to be very interesting - full of events and people.

Gaza is one of the oldest cities in the world (founded about 3000 BC) and was one of the cities of the Philistine Pentapolis. It is mentioned in the Bible 22 times. Such generals as Nebuchadnezzar II, Alexander the Great, Pompey and others fought and conquered Gaza. The most famous story associated with this city tells about the feat of the judge of Israel - the hero Samson. It was in Gaza that he said “Die, my soul, with the Philistines!”, after which he brought down the temple to the walls of which he was chained, and buried a host of enemies with him under the ruins.

Gaza has been associated with the Jewish community and Judaism since ancient times. Already in 508, a synagogue was built in Gaza. At the beginning of the 17th century, the chief rabbi of Gaza was Israel ben Moses Najara, a poet and Torah scholar. Many cities in Israel today have streets that bear his name. Rabbi Najara wrote the hymn “Yah Ribon” - it is sung at the Shabbat meal in all communities of Israel. Rabbi Israel ben Moses Najara died in 1625 and was buried in Gaza. The ruins of a Jewish synagogue still exist in Gaza.

My research led me to study ancient maps of Gaza. When I was traveling in Jordan, I visited the Orthodox Church of St. George in the city of Madaba. It contains the oldest mosaic map of the Holy Land, from the Levant in the north to the Nile Delta in the south. It contains an ancient image of the then flourishing city of Gaza. Then I discovered a map of the Holy Land from 1321, described as "the first non-Ptolemaic map of a definite country." It was created by Pietro Vesconte. It also shows the city of Gaza. In this beautifully detailed map of Gaza from 1841, created by British Royal Engineers, we see a developed city during the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The 1943 map shows Gaza during the British Mandate. The 1959 map depicts the period of Gaza's occupation by Egypt.

And here, finally, is the modern map of 2022 - a map that I had already learned very well during the war. Very little remains of the houses that are marked on it. On October 7, 2023, the Gazans attacked my country. They brutally murdered more than 1,200 civilians from neighboring kibbutzim and took more than 200 hostages. The Israeli army began to fight the infrastructure of terror in Gaza. The main forces of terrorists and weapons were concentrated in tunnels under residential buildings, schools and hospitals. The length of the tunnels was more than 500 km. They needed to be destroyed. Today, after months of fighting, Gaza City lies in ruins. What will happen next with the history of this ancient and complex place? What will it look like in the future? What will it bring to the world? No one knows this yet…

Gematria (Hebrew: גימטריה‎) in the Jewish tradition is one of the methods for analyzing the meaning of words and phrases based on the numerical values of the letters they contain. The “gematria of a word” is the sum of the numerical values of the letters included in it. The word Gaza (Hebrew: עזה) corresponds in gematria to the number 82. I have been working with artificial intelligence (AI) for a long time and am well aware of its great potential capabilities. Today humanity needs to predict the future. Therefore, I asked AI to create a map of Gaza in 2082 based on the research I had done on historical maps. As a result, I received a 3-dimensional image of the city with high-rise buildings, streets and highways. This map gives hope that the peace that we all need so much is possible on this earth. I present all the maps I created as separate graphic sheets, combined into a single series called “AI future of GAZA”.