Hey! I'm Ofek Gila, the creator of this website. I was born in 1999 in Tel Aviv, Israel, on my due date, July 10th. I created this website and this page when I was 23 (as of writing this I'm still 23, I am using the past tense optimistically). I lived in Israel in Rechovot near the Weizmann Institute where both of my parents studied until I was one and a half, when I moved to Cupertino, California, USA. I lived in Cupertino until I went to college (when I was 18) in Irvine, California, around 7 hours away by car or an hour by flight. I got two bachelors of science degrees in 2021, one in Physics and another in Computer Science. In 2021 I also started my PhD in Computer Science Theory, specifically Graph Theory, which is still ongoing.
I am very interested in my heritage and my past. I took DNA tests with both 23andme and ancestry, and uploaded my DNA to MyHeritage. My father, Omer Gila, is half Turkish Jewish (Gila), and half Polish, while my mother is half Polish and half Middle Eastern (Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, etc.). I built my family tree on MyHeritage with over 1000 members, mostly on my mother's father's side, where I could trace some of the Polish records to the mid-1700s. Unfortunately, my Gila family knowledge ends far more recently, the late 1800s. Please contact me if you have any more information, either via the contact us page or my contact details in the footer below.
The creation of this website
In November 7th, 2022, I set out to buy gila.com. I thought that maybe in the future I would want the email firstname.lastname@example.org, or just want this domain in general for my family. I checked to see whether it was taken, and to my dismay, it was already taken by what seemed to be GoDaddy. To get a price quote, I needed to fill out a form, which was already a red flag. Why can't they just tell me the price upfront? I filled out the form with fake contact details (I didn't want them to know that my last name was gila), and got an email within a few minutes. It turns out that GoDaddy doesn't own this domain, rather that someone owns this domain through afternic, a subsidiary of GoDaddy. I was given the email of a domain broker who would negotiate between myself and the domain owner. They wanted to call me, so I knew I had to come up with some story as to why I want this domain, without making it seem like I want it too badly. My story was that I have an aunt with the last name 'Gil', and wanted to get her a custom email address, email@example.com. Since gil.com was taken, I took the next best option, gil a.com, and if that was a problem I would just take gil b.com or gil c.com.
While waiting for the call, I went to afternic.com to see if I could find any more information there, and to my surprise, I found it listed there with a price quote. The price? 4 million, 425 thousand dollars. There was good news though, it was also available to be auctioned! Bidding starts at 3 million 825 thousand, already saving me $600 thousand. I decided that now was probably time to buy the next best domain, and all other domains I might ever want. After looking at my options, I decided to get gila.family, since it works decently both as an email domain and as a website domain. I also bought domains with many of my friends' names so that I could save it for them.
While my mom was pregnant with me, she was teaching a math class at the University of Tel Aviv. One of her students was learning to be a doctor, specializing in births. One day after class, he asked her when her due date was. It was on a Saturday, so he told her that she could just stop by the hospital in Tel Aviv where he worked and he could take a look. She came that Saturday, and he told her, that I look good, and if she wants, he could take me out that same day. My mom called my dad to come over, and when he came, she started pushing and... I came out on time :)