My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: XI The Bedouins

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: XI The Bedouins

The sulha

The sulha is a conflict resolution process between the respective families of a victim and a perpetrator, based on cooperation, negotiation and compromise (Lang, 2002). Sulha is the traditional Middle-Eastern, inter- and intra-communal, dispute management-resolution process. The root of the name comes from “sulh” – Peacemaking in Arabic. The process predates Islam by about 400 years, and is practiced today, with variations, across the Middle East, in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Occupied Territories, the Arabian Peninsula, and in many other Muslim countries (Sulha Research Center, 2009). The sheikh who conducts the sulha needs to be from a family of standing, with a reputation as wise and respected, and someone who “has a say”. At the sulha, each family has a representative (from the family or someone else) who speaks for the family. At the end of the sulha, an agreement is written (Bashar Abu Sahra, personal communication, May 27, 2011). Central in the sulha process is the concept of “honor” (Pely, 2010). In the formal process of the sulha only men participate, but women often have substantial informal influence behind the scene (Pely, 2011). The Palestinian sulha system is similar to the system in other countries in the region, but in the wake of the transformations in Palestinian reality, it developed some peculiarities (Fares et al., 2006). The sulha is a legal system, and sulha agreements are taken into account – at least to some extent – in situations in which a case reaches an Israeli court (Tsafrir, 2006). It was suggested that we may learn from the system of sulha to settle agreements not only in family conflict but also in other fields, including international negotiations (Gellman & Vuinovich, 2008)





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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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