By Dore Faith, Summer Course student at Givat Haviva 2016
This week I visited Zachariah Mahamid and his family in their home in Muawiya, an Arab town of about four thousand nestled in the small slopes west of Umm al-Fahm. Zachariah teaches citizenship and civics in the local high school, and we met as part of my Arabic studies at Givat Haviva, where he directs Jewish-Arab coexistence programs throughout the year.
After I was greeted by Zachariah’s family with abundant candies and fruits, his eight-year old son enjoyed learning the English words of several animals. Pointing at their pictures, we came up with tricks to remember their names — dob ends in B, which is the first letter of its meaning, bear; nimr and tiger each end with an “–er” sound; qitt and cat have more or less the same consonants, just with a different internal vowel. I spent the rest of the evening chatting in Arabic and Hebrew with Zachariah and his wife, Laila, and their kids.
We discussed children’s movies and television, and also some politics, while sitting on his roof and watching the sun set over the town’s olive groves.
I returned home later that evening well-fed, eager to tell my friends about Zachariah and Laila’s demonstration of local hospitality.