Women in Bastan Village, Kurdistan

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Eid and other thoughts...090810--Haifa, Israel

Today was one of those simple days that I just love. I was off since it is a long holiday weekend, as both Muslim and Jews celebrate the Eid al Fatar and the Jewish New Year. I bought a book on the Palestinian Arabic dialect and was studying a little on the morning and then went to the market and got some fresh fruit and vegetables. Later on, I came back and cleaned my place. I am living alone now in a kind of apartment (actually a dorm) which I'm supposed to share with 7 other girls but there are no students for now. I have two other male floormates, Wa'el and Sliman, but they are always working, so I never see them.They work until late in the evening to pay for school and their expenses for living away from home.

Later in the evening, I went out and sat at a local bookstore where they had a coffee shop and free internet. Internet seems to be available everywhere, except in my room, I cannot get it, weird! you can just sit almost everywhere and there will be an available network that you can connect, So, I sat and got a latte and started to practice my Arabic with the owners, which happened to be Christians, but a little bit extremists. I said that we all have the same God, and they automatically stopped me saying that the God of Muslims was not the same and that Mohammad was always ordering people to kill and that their God was a different God. I found a text in the Bible and showed them that in the book of Numbers, in the Old Testament, God also ordered Moses to go and kill some people from a different tribe as a vengeance, he said that it was different. He showed me a passage that said in the New Testament that you should not receive or talk to people that does not believe in Jesus, in 2 John, I just listened to them and kindly disagreed. They were preaching to me and showing me some Bible passages to make their point. It is interesting how religion here is dividing people instead of uniting them and how people want to use one verse of one book or the other and do not go for the true message of tolernance and love of your neighbor.

Talking about extremists, there was an article today in Haaretz about Orthodox Jews that burned copies of the new testament. What is all this bullshit of burning Holy Books, can't we respect the right of the others to worship? If you don't want a Bible, don't take it. If you have your own faith, then don't mess with other's people faith and respect what it means for them. Don't say that other person's religion is of Satan (as the guy told me in the library).

At night, I went to a shop to get bread and milk and I got a pack of oreos, just to satisfy my sweet tooth and just realized that the price of the oreos was 4 shekels (About $1) almost the same price I paid for the bread and the milk (each 5 shekels). No more oreos. Well, my budget is shrinking every day, so I have to be careful. I plan to start teaching English or Spanish while I'm here to try to get some money.

I am starting to get to know my neighborhood, and being receptive and with my eyes and ears open as I walk everyday to my work. It feels so different from the walk to work to the Tent of Nations on the West Bank......no checkpoints here, but milder signs of discrimination. I hope to keep improving my Arabic, so I can connect more to people here. In the meantime I keep writing as I hear the non-stop fireworks from the Eid celebration, they seemed to have stop now, but all of a sudden there is another loud noise, like now. Happy Eid!!!!


  1. I want to thank you for sharing these valuable conversation with us. There most people may not understand your point of view, but I guess it is not a big deal. you are doing what you are believe 'n...

  2. Thanks for reading and keeping in contact. It means a lot that you are reading because at least I feel that you are part of this too.