My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: XIX. Mine and Yours

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: XIX. Mine and Yours

The difference between “mine” and “yours” may be self-evident for the Westerner. For the Bedouin most things are “ours”; at least among friends. Although this topic is something that conceptually may seem more related to the dimension of individualism/collectivism, its challenge was in the field of “uncertainty”. I will describe here issues regarding finances, favors and possessions.

Stories of Friendship: Who Pays the Bill?

Jerusalem, October 2000. Our first intercultural difficulty happened a few months after we got acquainted, on my 40th birthday. I had invited a large number of friends to a party at a local bar. I had also invited a performer and some light snacks were offered. We had a good time. At the end of the evening, the owner of the bar came to me and said that they have one unpaid bill. Later I realized that the bill was that of Jaffer and Bashar. I felt highly uncomfortable about the situation, but eventually decided to confront them. As it had not occurred to me that guests would order from the menu and then not pay their bills, it had not occurred to them that they were expected to pay for themselves.

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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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