In a special edition marking 50 years since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, ''Time Out Tel Aviv'' rebrands itself as ''Time Out Ramallah.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Israel's franchise of the entertainment listings magazine Time Out has dipped across the geo-political divide to sample the more confined lives of Palestinians, hoping to help old foes find some common cause in appreciating cultural freedom. In a special edition marking 50 years since Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, "Time Out Tel Aviv" rebranded itself as "Time Out Ramallah," with stories provided by seven freelance Palestinian reporters and photographers. The cover photo, of an horizon-obscuring Israeli security barrier, anticipates stories that are far from the magazine's usually hip and carefree content: A Gazan correspondent tells of soirees timed around daily power cuts; in the West Bank, a rare female DJ awaits an elusive permit to perform in Israel. There is lighter fare, such as a tale of two former prisoners in Israel who run the first Palestinian food truck. But as evidenced by the lack of ads - Time Out Tel Aviv's source of income, allowing the weekly to be distributed for free - this edition is a political display, not a commercial crowd-pleaser. A quarter-century of failed talks on creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel has been interspersed with surges of violence. Israel has responded with West Bank closures and withdrawal from Gaza, which is now under Islamist Hamas rule. So deep is the rift, that just getting the Palestinian journalists past checkpoints to meet their Israeli counterparts was a challenge. Internal Palestinian pressures also shadowed some of the freelancers, who published articles without bylines lest they be accused at home of "collaborating" with Israel. "Having this kind of thing in Ramallah, and a way and approach to share our stories and experiences for the whole world to hear, and for ourselves, is something encouraging," said Tareq Mansour, a student at Birzeit University in the West Bank who contributed to the special edition. Within Israel, 70,000 copies of "Time Out Ramallah" came out in Arabic and Hebrew, and around 2,000 more appeared in English in the Palestinian territories, editor Nof Nathansohn told Reuters. The initiative was new for the magazine chain, which operates in 108 cities, across 39 countries, and has a global monthly audience reach of 156 million across all platforms, according to Time Out Group.