My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin:  XIII. Getting Acquainted

My Friend is a Palestinian Bedouin: XIII. Getting Acquainted

The process of becoming acquainted varies among cultures. I will relate here to the topics of “names” and “greeting behavior.” First, let us get back to the gas station.

Stories of friendship: Bashar, who?

Anata, a Palestinian village just outside Jerusalem, December 2010. I passed by at Abu Omar’s gas station and asked one of the workers about Bashar. The workers, several of them children between 12 and 15, mostly belong to the Abu Sahra family. The response was “Bashar? Which Bashar? You mean Abu Omar’s brother, Abu Ward? He is not around, but come and have a seat.”


From names we can learn something about the importance of family life in both cultures. My full name is Daniel John Nicholas Weishut. Among Muslims, Christians and Jews it is common to name children after figures from the holy scripts. Daniel is the name of a prophet. In Hebrew it means “God is my judge” (Daniel, 2011). In most situations, Daniel is the name that identifies me. John is also my father’s second name, and that of my parental grandfather. It was the first name of one of my ancestors. In Jewish tradition, I was named after a deceased family member. Naming children after one’s ancestors is also common in Dutch culture, as in Bedouin culture. Nicholas was someone in my extended family who died at a young age not long before I was born. Weishut, which means “white hat” in German, was probably the name given to my family at the time of Napoleon, referring to my family being involved in a profession in which a white hat was customary.


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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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