My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: VI. Cultural Differences and the Intercultural Encounter

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: VI. Cultural Differences and the Intercultural Encounter

Daniel Weishut, Psy.D.

In the previous essays, I provided an introduction and proposed the methodology for this study. In the next series of essays, I will present an overview of the professional literature on the two main components of this study, interculturality and friendship. In this essay I will provide a literature study on the intercultural encounter and in the following essays will deal with adult friendship. The essay on friendship will include background information on the specific friendship to be studied. This essay will be followed by one on the Jahalin Bedouins, who provide a substantial piece of the cultural context of the friendship studied. Each essay will begin with a story of friendship in order to introduce the reader to the matters to come and to the atmosphere of the friendship.


There seems to be no coherent bulk of knowledge on interculturality. The intercultural encounter was studied in a variety of disciplines in a parallel way, like in management, international relations, communication, literature, education, psychology, sociology and anthropology. When relating to the intercultural encounter the various disciplines do not necessarily built on the same assumptions or use the same concepts (Ward et al., 2001). Taking a multi-disciplinary approach, as in the extensive work on culture’s consequences (Hofstede, 2001), this overview will be an attempt to integrate information from divergent fields. After providing a description of an intercultural incident, I will start with a note on culture, large groups and social identity. This will be followed by a discussion on different cultural dimensions or value orientations. The essay will continue with a discussion of the intercultural encounter, and relate in particular to the issues of honor, power, and aggression. It will end with a section on cultural and intercultural issues among the Dutch, the Israelis and the Palestinians.


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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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