In Hebrew, the word Kanyon means shopping mall. So in a play on words, a very large
shopping mall, located at 54 Derech Simha Golan Street in the southeast area of Haifa is named the “Grand Canyon”.
This lovely mall has a variety of both upscale and more affordable stores. It offers many kinds
of shops, various restaurants and activities for all ages. The mall has free underground parking. On Thursdays and Fridays
there are artists with tables of wares outside the large number of mall stores.
This mall is four stories high and has an interesting variety of retailers. An Aroma Coffee House
is on the 2nd floor, but on the 4th floor, there is a gourmet grocery and food court. What an incredible selection - dozens
of vendors selling wine and cheese, delicatessen delicacies, cakes, various pastries, sandwiches, salads, smoothies and much
more. There is even home-cooked hot pasta and goulash to go.
One outstanding feature of this mall is the gargantuan 3-story playhouse for children of all ages.
This children’s area looks like it could easily accommodate 100 children and it is sturdy enough for parents to accompany
the little ones. Mary Poppins dangles with her umbrella from the mall ceiling, keeping an eye on the activity.
I had first visited the Grand Canyon Mall back in 2007, shortly after the 2006 war with Lebanon,
when Haifa had been the target of multiple rockets fired into northern Israel from southern Lebanon. At the Grand Canyon Mall,
I visited the broadcast studios of FM station Radio Haifa, which was located there. At the radio station, the group
I was with was shown around the broadcast studios.
Because Haifa had not been attacked in any of Israel’s previous wars, it was not adequately prepared
for those rocket attacks. Some areas of the city could not hear the air raid warning sirens and authorities had no way to
communicate with people in the air raid shelters scattered around the city. Radio Haifa filled the void by
broadcasting rocket attack warnings and transmitting vital information over the FM airwaves to the citizens of Haifa while
they were in their shelters or elsewhere.
During the attacks on Haifa, a Jewish reporter, Eli Levy, and an Arab cameraman Nassar Nasser,
combined to make an on-the-scene video documentary of life and events in Haifa. Support to make and produce the video, titled,
“Eli and Nassar, a War Journal” was provided by Radio Haifa. Our visiting group was shown this award-winning
documentary that had been made the previous summer.