One of the reasons I moved to the Galilee a little over three years ago was because of the diversity and daily multicultural encounters we experience here.
Jews, Bedouins, Arab Muslims, Arab Christians, Circassians, Druze… we all live side by side in a fragile co-existence that defies the odds.
Our small community of Hannaton is bordered by the Bedouin village of Bir el Maksur less than a kilometer to the west, the Arab Muslim town of Kafar Manda only 3 kilometers to the north, and a few more Bedouin and Jewish villages to the east and south.
A hodgepodge of people and cultures, faiths and customs, languages and traditions.
Is it perfect? No.
Are there problems? Yes.
Does it work? Actually, yes it does!
Case in point:
Allow me to share an amazing event my husband and I witnessed last week on our usual Shabbat (Sabbath) hike in the fields around Hannaton.
We had put our vivacious Labrador on a leash, trying to steer her away from a herd of sheep in the distance. We noticed a Bedouin shepherd among his flock and did not want our dog to scare and stampede the poor sheep (really, she’s done it before)
However, instead of telling us to stay away, the shepherd called and invited us (dog and all) to come closer and see something… and so began a new friendship, an amazing hour together as we shared in the miracle of life.