Irris Makler

Latest from Irris Makler

A quest to revive ancient heirloom grains in the world's original breadbasket

Hagay Ben Yehuda is a fifth-generation baker working at a small artisanal bakery in central Israel, where he's returning to his roots and pioneering the search for heirloom grains — all in an attempt to produce loaves that are close to the original bread eaten all the way back to biblical times.

Empty church pews, full souvenir shelves: Bethlehem struggles to cope with a COVID-19 Christmas

Normally Bethlehem would be teeming with tourists at this time of year. But churches, holy sites and souvenir shops in the city known to many as Jesus's birthplace have been quiet since March, when COVID-19 became a global pandemic. Still, residents say they will find joy in Christmas.

Amid pandemic, large wedding ceremonies 'our most problematic issue' for Palestinians

Large ceremonies are customary in Palestinian society, where weddings bind the couple to each other — and to the community. In the absence of physical distancing measures, weddings have proved an incubator for the novel coronavirus.

Having rejected Trump's peace plan, Palestinians worry 'what will happen next?'

Palestinian farmers in the Jordan Valley always keep one eye on their crops, which provide their livelihoods, but they also look toward the city they revere — and fear losing — in the wake of the peace plan put forward by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Crossing checkpoints, visiting 'Wall Street' and refugee camps part of this Mideast adventure tour

Millions of tourists visited Israel last year, but only a small proportion went on to the West Bank. Most didn't stay the night, returning to Israeli hotels to sleep. One American group was bucking the trend, with a "dual narrative" tour aimed at understanding the politics and approaching all the different perspectives with open minds and hearts.

'It's time for healing': Grassroots women's movement aims to pressure Israel to reach peace deal

At rallies across Israel this autumn, tens of thousands of Israeli and Palestinian women have marched, danced, sung and advocated for peace as part of a grassroots effort to pressure the Israeli government to reach a political agreement with the Palestinians by 2018.

Yisrael Kristal, oldest man in the world, prepares to celebrate bar mitzvah he missed as a boy

It's a celebration that usually happens when a Jewish boy turns 13, but Yisrael Kristal never had a chance to have a bar mitzvah when he turned that age in Poland during the First World War, so he's having one 100 years later.

'I can't see any borders here': Israelis and Palestinians unite for backgammon

That most ordinary thing in the Middle East — a game of backgammon — is suddenly extraordinary because it's Israelis and Palestinians sitting opposite each other to play.

'I have no alternative': Palestinian teen sneaks into Israel to join 25,000 illegal workers

Israeli authorities say they plan to clamp down on some 25,000 Palestinians working inside Israel illegally. But the illegal workers continue to make their way in. See how two young Palestinian make the dangerous journey.