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Sophia and I would like to wish everyone a happy and sweet new year.

Over here, we’re watching the events happening throughout the region closely, about a film that was made by a man who is not an Israeli Jew, as first reported, and the riots that were blamed on the film but were likely not actually because of the film, the rockets that are being launched at us during our holidays, and the interesting choice of the UN to still meet with Assad while he actively butchers Syrians.

But tonight we step away from our keyboards and sit with our families and friends, thankful that we do it in the safety we enjoy in a tumultuous region. I think it’s clear we’ve enjoyed beginning this blog, and are appreciative of the opportunity to interact with those who’ve found us. We’ve made this place our home and we hope you come back often to comment on our pieces. Feel free to rip us apart, or leave nice things to say 😉

May your new years be full of only good things and sweet memories. May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year. And, mostly – let me leave you with something hopeful. As a slideshow for Rosh HaShanah over at Al Monitor illustrates, we’ve been around these parts for awhile. I’m not so convinced we’re going anywhere. Enjoy the photos and have a wonderful new year, from us ladies at the Gates of the City

There are an estimated 17,600 Jews in Turkey. The most famous synagogue, Nevi Shalom, pictured above, is in Istanbul and is still used for weddings, funerals and other ceremonies. Turkey is also home to the Ahrida Synagogue, an ancient synagogue that dates back to the early 15th century. Photo: REUTERS/Murad Sezer | Slideshow: Nervana Mahmoud for Al Monitor