(Photo: Federico Maccioni/TimesofIsrael)

(Photo: Federico Maccioni/TimesofIsrael)

By Federico Maccioni - November 20, 2018

Twenty-nine year old Khadir Yousef gets up at three in the morning to travel from Ramallah in the West Bank to the SodaStream factory in the industrial park of Idan HaNegev, in Israel’s northern Negev. He does not return home until nine in the evening.

Dressed in a long-sleeved T-shirt and jeans, with a green security vest, he proudly shows this reporter a ready-to-ship soda-seltzer maker that the factory produces. SodaStream makes machines that carbonate home tap water in reusable bottles.

Alongside Yousef, who has worked for the factory for the past nine years, sat Teryaq (44), an Arab Israeli woman from Rahat. Sitting on her chair next to a conveyor belt, she said she has been working for the company for four and a half years. Next to her was Sharona Apterkar, an immigrant from India.

Like the magnificent Byzantine mosaic displaying images of birds and local flora that was discovered by archaeologists in 2013 near Kibbutz Beit Kama, in the Northern Negev Desert, SodaStream has built a mosaic of Israeli Jews and Arabs, Palestinians, Bedouins, Ethiopians, and Russians, who work together to produce the foot-and-a-half tall machines that turn still water into seltzer. Together, they have helped build up the fortunes of the fizzy-water firm that in August was acquired by PepsiCo for $3.2 billion.

Read More: Times of Israel