My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: XI The Bedouins

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: XI The Bedouins


The Bedouins have a culture that was often stereotyped, as being essentially nomadic, despite the fact that many Bedouins live sedentary lives. Throughout the years, attitudes toward Bedouins have been ambivalent. The Bedouins where at times idealized, with Arabic language and Arab identity having their roots in Bedouin life. At other times Bedouins were denigrated, because of the arduousness of their life, simplicity and roughness of character, and aspects of their religious and moral ideas (Leder, 2005). The Bedouins tend to live according to a traditional value pattern, with emphasis on survival; cf. value dimensions by Inglehart (2006). For the Bedouins, the individual seems to be embedded in collectivity, with responsible behavior being achieved through hierarchy (instead of egalitarianism), whereas in their relationship with the environment emphasis seems to be on harmony (over mastery); cf. value dimensions by Schwartz (2011). For the Bedouins, the honor code is central both in cultural ideology as for the individual (Abu-Lughod, 1985). Among the Bedouins, as among many traditional cultures, the practice of blood vengeance still exists, despite the fact that it is illegal in most countries of the world (Al-Krenawi & Graham, 1997).

In many regions, there have been clashes between the Bedouins and the local authorities over issues of land and resources. It was suggested that “only seldom can pastoral nomads and state governments reach an agreement over land issues and resource utilization. While governments attempt to impose their control over nomads, the latter wish to avoid it by all means. The opposing forces stem from conflicting ideologies and opposing forms of space production” (Meir, 1988, p. 251)


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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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