My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: II. Why Study Intercultural Friendships?

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: II. Why Study Intercultural Friendships?


Friendships are essential in human development. In an era of globalization, in which the intermingling of cultures is on the rise, intercultural friendships are likely to occur more often. Intercultural friendships can be full of frustrating challenges, but they can also provide excellent opportunities for mutual growth and bring about small steps toward social justice. This autoethnographic study focuses on the interface between interculturality and friendship.

The dissertation refers to a friendship that crosses not only cultural borders, but also the national borders between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The friendship thrives in the midst of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is an environment that is not particularly conducive to the formation of friendships between Arabs and Jews. It attempts to provide an answer to the question: What are the challenges and opportunities in an intercultural friendship between a Jewish Israeli man of Western-European origin and a Muslim Palestinian man of Bedouin descent?

Part I of this dissertation starts with a section on the factual aspects of the friendship. Then it presents background to autoethnographic research and sets out the methodology. The methodology relates among others to some of the hardships to be expected in this kind of study.

Part II provides a literature study on interculturality, and includes discussion on culture, value orientations, and the intercultural encounter. Then, the socio-cultural context of this friendship will be described, referring in particular to the Dutch, the Israelis and the Palestinians. This part will also address issues as honor and aggression. The discussion on interculturality will be followed by a literature study on friendship. A special chapter will be devoted to the arduous Bedouin life.


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About the Author

Daniel Weishut

Daniel WeishutDaniel J.N. Weishut, born in the Netherlands but living in Jerusalem, is a professional with a diverse background. He holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and an MBA in Integrative Business Administration, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a PsyD in Clinical and Organizational Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology (Sacramento). He has about thirty years of experience in consultation and therapy with a wide variety of clients and issues, more than twenty years of practice in group facilitation, and over fifteen years of know-how in governance and management in various organizations. Daniel Weishut offers his services as a "Partner on the Way", while taking a world-view that people are diverse but equal. He works with a variety of clients, but his special interest is in work with those who have found themselves persecuted or otherwise in conflict with their social environment, because of their culture, identity or belief system. For example: migrants, expats, refugees, Holocaust survivors, soldiers, pacifists, and individuals from religious, cultural or sexual minorities. Daniel Weishut is a social activist and in this capacity he volunteers as Chairperson of the Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy, as Member of the Membership Appeals Committee of Amnesty International and as forensic expert for the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel. He also is involved in raising awareness about the situation of Bedouins around Jerusalem; awareness which led among others to the writing of his dissertation "My friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: Challenges and opportunities in intercultural friendship".

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