We visit an Arab village in Israel…

NOT…

On Sunday we went to visit Eileen’s friend Kamal. He is also a nurse who worked with Eileen. He and his family live in the village of  Tira. It is an Israeli Arab village located near the border with the occupied territories. Kamal grew up in Tira and took us to several places he knew quite well.

In Israel, the Arabs and Jews live apart. While they work together they live, go to school and socialize separately. It’s clear that these villages get the ‘short end of the stick’ when it comes to receiving services. Streets are not paved…

 

 

 

 

 

 

no sewers and limited sanitation services. But Kamal says that it is a good place to live and raise a family and he’d want his children to live there as well. In fact, he has already purchased land for them so that at the appropriate time they will build a house on the land for their families to live in.

There are also signs that the village is on the upswing as more and more contemporary stores are moving into the downtown area.

 

 

Lunch…

For lunch we went to a traditional middle eastern restaurant. Kamal’s wife, also a nurse,  joined us before she had to return to work.

 

For starters we had the traditional salads and salads and salads…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The traditional breads that are eaten with middle eastern food are pita and lafah which is a middle eastern form of Taboon bread and is extremely popular in Israel. It is traditionally baked in a taboon oven. When the owner of the restaurant spotted my Canon 5D he came over and asked if I’d like to take a picture of their baking  lafah. This was the first of some interesting photo-ops today.

I don’t remember what we had for an entree, maybe because my photos didn’t come out! 😦

But we did finish up lunch with Arabic coffee, pudding and bacalava.

 

The Mosque…

There are two mosques located in Tira. I’m happy to say I did not get thrown out of either one of them.

In fact, Kamal was able to get special permission for me to briefly go into one of the mosques to take some photos.

 

Other points of interest…

Kamal then drove us around the village and it’s outskirts. We saw the remains of a British WWII gun turret that Kamal played in when he was a kid growing up in Tira.

Just a little different from MY play area when I grew up in Brooklyn.

 

We also could see in the distance the new Jewish settlements being built on or near the border…

 

and we went into one of the caves where many Arab families lived during Israel’s war of independence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Kamal and your family for your warm hospitality.

قد يكون السلام معكم!

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