Saturday, October 21, 2006


About three Jewish women, myself included, drove past the invisible borders of East and West Jerusalem and ventured into the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina to share Iftar with our Moslem sisters. This is a very large neighborhood of several kilometers. West Jerusalem buses don’t go there so we had to drive there. Traffic was heavy and drivers were impatient trying to get home before the fast ended.

Fadwa’s home was beautifully set and although some of us brought food to share, most of the stuff, I’m sure, was made by her and her mother. I joked to some of the women there.

“Like you - today, I didn’t either eat anything ……. healthy”. And I dug into the food as joyfully as my Moslem sisters did.

I wondered if the fast always ends with most families sitting down to an enormous amount of food - lentil soup, chicken baked with veggies, rice, mejjedrah, salads, and for dessert - the first time I tasted kadaif.

One of the women read from the Koran with an English translation. It looked so much like our Old Testament with an English translation. She read about the fast before we sat down to our meal.

The director of the women’s group, an Orthodox Jewish woman (who only feasted on vegetarian stuff) told us about her discussion with her Arab pharmacist.

“Ramadan Kareem” she told him.

“How do you know about Ramadan?”

“Do you know I’m going to an Iftar tonight?”

“Why are you going to an Iftar? With whom? What kind of group are you with?”

“A group of women, Jewish, Moslem and Christian get together and we celebrate holidays together.”

He still couldn’t get it. “Why? Are you against anything?”

“No we’re not against anything. We’re simply pro-peace.”

“Oh peace” he shrugged. “It’s no use talking about it.”

“That’s exactly my point” she continued. “We don’t talk about it. When we get together, we live peace.”

1 comment:

John said...

That is a wonderful story! Women are the key to peace, I am sure.