Thursday, October 07, 2004

Ended is the Holiday

I was supposed to go with Hubby to a "pressure relief" meeting at 6:30, which was to help alleviate some financial pressure of his business and our home life - a part of debtor's anonymous where you sit with 2 other people who have been solvent non-debtors for 3 months at least. They listen objectively and then advise. I got sidetracked and told Hubby there wasa party at 5:00 at the All Nations Cafe and then we can go afterwards to the "pressure relief" meeting. We got to the Cafe and saw Dhyon there with a group of people I didn't know. He said the cafe had moved up to downtown Mt. of Olives until renovations are completed on the old one. Fine. Hubby didn't look too thrilled. We heard music coming from down the street -guitars, darboukas, flutes, etc. A herd of about 60 bedraggled Jewish hippies were trudging up the steep hill. I'm already walking with them excited about a peace party anywhere with these people. Hubby was horrified at the sight and said he's going back to the car. If I want to go hang with them - fine. Forget about peace in the home for a night, I thought. I walked up this very steep hill; the path looked like it had been in use for hundreds of years, but I would have preferred riding on a donkey than walking and slipping and falling as some did. As we were a large group and noisy, there was a residential section at the top of the hill and people were looking at us seriously wondering what was going on. "SALAAAM!!!" everyone shouted to the residents and darboukas banged on wildly. The local children met us at the top of the hill. We made a large circle, some of the younger men took some of the kids on their shoulders and danced with them. I took some photos and the kids got wild "ME! ME! ME!" they all shouted at me and wanted to see instant photos in the digital. One wanted to scrape her photo off the monitor because she thought she could. The little boys behaved badly. As we walked in the direction of the cafe, the circle broken up, I felt little hands patting my ass. I turned around to shout at whoever was the culprit, but they were faster than my reflexes, plus I didn't know how to shout - Get your fucking hands off my ass, you little squirts - in Arabic. But the little girls were sweet and we hugged and kissed them good bye as we walked into the cafe, which was owned by Ibrahim's nephew. We were a big crowd and grabbed alot of attention from the 20 older men hanging around in the street, looking at us like what the fuck are all these Jews doing in our 'hood. Ignoring the not-too-friendly-looking stares, we sauntered into the cafe, musical instruments playing and all of us singing peace songs in Hebrew and Arabic. They served us Arabic coffee and some pancake-like pastry smothered in honey - on the house. I saw my other buddy Ismail there with Claire, who always hosts the Jerusalem peacemaker circle in her home. So I didn't explain anything about all these people who I met today. They are part of this group, who in the name of peace, walk into Jerusalem during the 3 Jewish holiays of Passover, Shavuot and Succot, when in biblical times, people made a pilgrimate to Jerusalem. So they do the same, but in the name of peace and stay in Arab villages on the way to Jerusalem, etc. I forgot the name of this group - but Dhyon probably has it on his All Nations Cafe site. Not everyone was Jewish. There was one person there wearing a giant cross - her name was Mary Margaret, which sounded more like Mary Magdalene the way she said it. She was from South Africa and wanders around the world, but has stayed in Jerusalem for the past two months because it is God's will. I met a British young man who doesn't claim to be part of any religion but also was here because of a message from God. Looks like we were all from the same planet and ended up in the same small country, trying to do the same seemingly-impossible thing. From the cafe we walked 5 minutes more to Ibrahim's house where he supplied us with dinner - he even had a section where everything was strictly kosher for those that only eat strictly kosher. But everything was vegetarian so that the veggie people wouldn't feel uncomfortable. There were a couple of Unification Church people hanging out at his house. I knew it right away when one of them came over to me "My dad is black, my mother is white and my wife is Chinese." A typical Rev. Moon family. From there I saw Ismael getting ready to leave and I hitched a ride with him and a writer called Mark to the bus stop. The driver Khaled heard me mention the word "knafeh" a wonderfully rich Arabic desert, which I'm madly addicted to. "You want knafeh? We're taking you to the best bakery in Jabel Mukaber" - a village just outside West Jerusalem and he didn't ask if I wanted to go, but decided that's where the 4 of us are going. I didn't mind being hijacked for knafeh. When we got there, the place was closing, so no knafeh, but we sat down for baklaveh sweets, which was Ismael's treat to us, plus he gave me a plateful for me to take home "for your children." On the way back to the bus stop, Khaled told me he is a Sufi and also knew the Sufi Sheikh Bukhari. I mentioned some things I learned about Abraham from the Koran - Sura 2. He was impressed and said I could be a Moslem because I believe in one God. He continued "Adam was a Moslem, as was Abraham, and Jacob and Joseph...." He was hijacking all OUR Jewish holy people!!!! Wait a minute there! But I really didn't care if he thought they were Moslems. What does it matter what they were really. Just if we did all act like Abraham from the Bible or Ibrahim from the Mt. of Olives, who I really believe are the same people, we wouldn't be having this war with each other.


lisoosh said...

I love you. Knafe is my favorite. There is a store in the old city, in from Damascus Gate that makes the best.

Daniel said...

That's right! It is called Jafar and Sons. Go in the Damascus gait and bear to the right, it's about 50 feet
on the right side. The best Knafe in Jerusalem and in the world! Haven't been there since '89, but the same guys were serving it up then, that served it in '84, in '78, and in '77. I'm pretty sure it is still there.