My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin:  XIV. Meals and Other Celebrations

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: XIV. Meals and Other Celebrations

 

Celebrations are another entry to a different culture. They indicate what is important in life. I will first relate to meals, and afterward to birthdays and weddings.

Stories of Friendship: First Birthday at 34

At my parents’ home, Amsterdam, August 2009. Before Bashar woke up, I had bought a lemon cake for his 34’s birthday and had put some garlands around the room and there was a present. Things looked very modest (by Dutch measures). He was surprised, and said it was the first time he had a birthday celebration. Later that night we went out for dinner to celebrate. I had ordered a place in a fancy restaurant, knowing that on that particular day they had a relatively cheap offer. It turned out that on that day they actually had one menu only, with several courses. It was French cuisine, within the first course a small but delicately prepared piece of food. We received detailed explanation about its preparation, but Bashar had a hard time finding it on his plate. The main course was a miniscule fish, which also came with explanation. Bashar looked at me and I was so embarrassed. Explanations – even if well intended – are not edible. How could I give my “desert friend” this fish as birthday dinner? We ordered bread, so that he at least got some substance. Afterwards, I took him to a snack bar and got him a croquette from a machine; something I knew he liked.

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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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