Gabi H. – Diversity & Pluralism, Summer 2016
“Last weekend, we headed north to the beautiful village of Rameh, an Arab village home to Muslim, Christian and Druze communities. We arrived in Rameh on Thursday morning and met with Ofakim L’atid (Horizons of the Future), a Druze organization that is committed to youth empowerment and community building. Our itinerary included a homestay in the village with Druze families.
My host sister, Yara, welcomed us into her home with genuine happiness. Her family’s hospitality was so wonderful, and we were treated to delicious Arab pastries alongside a more familiar pizza dinner. Despite our obvious cultural differences, we had more in common than I could have anticipated, including a love of action movies and a looming standardized test.
I was eager to cling to these surprising similarities as topics of conversation, but it was what made us different that made talking to Yara in her beautiful garden unforgettable. As I write, I’m struck by how trite this might sound, but this is really what happened. Yara spoke about growing up as a Druze woman in Israel, about life in Rameh and in the nearby villages. She offered me a thoughtful and honest perspective on Druze culture that I would never have received outside of the dialogue natural to friendship and endless cups of tea. For our conversation, I am forever thankful to Yara and her wonderful family.”