My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IX Friendship

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: IX Friendship

Friendships are found in all societies and manifest themselves in a rich variety of culturally dependent ways. Apart from satisfying basic human needs, they fulfill an important social role that is different from kinship and societal institutions. The expression of friendship varies as a function of value orientations and societal constraints, whereas overall almost no behavior can be excluded as an act of friendship (Krappmann, 1998). As human beings, we are cultural constructs and a friendship between two individuals is an encounter between two cultural identities. Actually, it was suggested that “friendship is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon that must be studied in cultural and interdisciplinary context” (Keller, 2004,  p. 10). Focusing on friendship in intercultural and interdisciplinary context is the objective of this dissertation.


Like culture, friendship has been defined in various ways. It seems that friendships are more difficult to define than other social relationships, such as kinship or working alliances. We could use a relatively long definition such as ‘‘voluntary interdependence between two persons over time, that is intended to facilitate socio-emotional goals of the participants, and may involve varying types and degrees of companionship, intimacy, affection and mutual assistance’’ (Hays, 1988, p.395). Even so, voluntariness may under some circumstances be more fictional than reality, like when the number of available people is limited or the social constraints governing friendship pattern rigid (Krappmann, 1998). For the present study, a short definition of friendship, like “a valuable, reciprocal, close relationship” (Devere, 2010, p. 25) suffices.


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Daniel WeishutDaniel J.N. Weishut, born in the Netherlands but living in Jerusalem, is a professional with a diverse background. He holds an MA in Clinical Psychology and an MBA in Integrative Business Administration, both from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and a PsyD in Clinical and Organizational Psychology from the Professional School of Psychology (Sacramento). He has about thirty years of experience in consultation and therapy with a wide variety of clients and issues, more than twenty years of practice in group facilitation, and over fifteen years of know-how in governance and management in various organizations.Daniel Weishut offers his services as a "Partner on the Way", while taking a world-view that people are diverse but equal. He works with a variety of clients, but his special interest is in work with those who have found themselves persecuted or otherwise in conflict with their social environment, because of their culture, identity or belief system. For example: migrants, expats, refugees, Holocaust survivors, soldiers, pacifists, and individuals from religious, cultural or sexual minorities. Daniel Weishut is a social activist and in this capacity he volunteers as Chairperson of the Israeli Association of Group Psychotherapy, as Member of the Membership Appeals Committee of Amnesty International and as forensic expert for the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel. He also is involved in raising awareness about the situation of Bedouins around Jerusalem; awareness which led among others to the writing of his dissertation "My friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: Challenges and opportunities in intercultural friendship".

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