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Dealing with diversity requires the development of a philosophy, a mind set, which is an immersion into those objects that allow us to reach towards subjects – human beings
(Tariq Ramadan)

Memories from the near past
A summer day, maybe mid or end of June

I am sipping coffee in Fatima’s house in the Old City of Nablus (Palestine).
It is our morning ritual since years, since we first met in 2009 and I moved to Palestine to start to work with her and the women community of Nablus…

The mixture of cardamom and coffee makes me feel home, loved, cared.

Few weeks before, M. the older brother of Fatima, was released from an Israeli prison, after 10 years of detention… what did he do? I never asked.
M., like many others, was part of the resistance during the second Intifada.
Fatima is worried about him. His air turned white and his health is weak.
He did not speak much since he returned.
Fatima looks at me with her intense inquisitive eyes, and says: “you know Bea, M. told me yesterday something that made me think… he said “we humans, we all have the same needs, we want to have a family, children, a job, an happy life”.
We stay silence for the rest of our coffee… there was not much to add to that simple truth.

I leave the house and walk to the Municipality Library of Nablus. While I am waiting for a friend, I wander around the building. Just few readers scattered here and there. In a tiny room, a sort of deposit, on a table a card box model of a house is laid out. The typical House, with sloping roof, garden and picket fence.
Who made it?
It must have been an employee of the library as the card box is the same used for binding the books.
As I look closer at the details of the model, A., a very kind employee of the library, steps in. He gives me a big smile and says “like?” (my Arabic is very basic and so is his English). Yes, I did like it!
… a colleague comes to translate …
“A. lives in a refugee camp in Nablus, he was a boxing athlete before a severe accident reduced him to a lame. In his spare time, A., sits in this little room building house models. He dreams to have his own house one day”.

I felt with A., with his need to have a place in this world, a place where he would feel safe and dignified. I felt with M. who deeply understood the commonalities of the human kind though being imprisoned for protecting his home from the aggressions of the occupiers.

Between my hands “Thought as a system” by the physicist David Bhom. Page 2, “Everything is interdependent, and yet the more interdependent we get, the more we seem to split up into little groups that don’t like each other and that inclined to fight each other”… “what is the source of this fragmentation?”.
Bhom continues, “… the source is basically thought (or FEAR a.n.)”, “thought is breaking up things into bits which should not be broken up” … “nationalism has broken things up, and yet the world (and the human needs a.n.) is all one”... “Nations are established by thought. The boundary of the nation is invented by thought”.

Beatrice Catanzaro