Thursday, February 23, 2006

if you wish it, it is!

Am I going to be criticised for this .... but if it had not been an Arab that told me this story, I would never have repeated here (or elsewhere).

Many years ago I lived in Kiryat Arba. Several times a week, at the same time each day, I would walk downtown to the Arab Taxi stand and catch a 'Sherut' to Jerusalem. Over several weeks and months I came to know several drivers quite well. We would discuss in Hebrew (and occassionally English) current events, and I would use these conversations as an opportunity to learn about the mind-set and culture of my Arab neighbours.

One day, I really don't remember in reference to what, my favorite "teacher" of Arab culture stopped me in the middle of a question and cried out: "But you don't understand!" When I pressed him, what don't I understand, he explained to me in English, but only after lowering his voice so everyone else in the cab wouldn't hear!. "When I was a boy my grandafther told me a story ..."

Abdul was lying on his hammock trying to take an afternoon siesta when the neighbours children ran into his yard with their games and noisily thwarted his plan. Gruff commands to exile them back to the street where they came from came to nought. Finally Abdul came up with a plan!
"Why are you wating your time playing here when they are giving away dates in the marketplace?" he asked the children?
After a few exchanges of disbelief that grew into acceptance with Abdul's continued insistence, the children raced out of the yard towards the village marketplace.
Leaning back into his hammock to take advantage of the newly acquired quiet, Abdul rests for a moment or two ... till suddenly he jumps out of the hammock, in the direction of the market.
"What an idiot I am, to miss out on free dates ..." he's heard muttering to himself.

My teacher, the driver, clarified the issue as I looked at him, trying to guess the "message" the story was supposed to communicate. "With Arabs, if you wish it, it is!" explains my teacher!

It does not make a difference who destroyed the twin towers in New York or who destroyed the "shrine" in Iraq. If enough muslims agree with Ahmadinejad that the Zionists and the Americans did it, then for them - that is reality!