Sunday, March 6, 2016

Class Trip Excellent Even If Stereotypes Not Dispelled

These are actual camels, not animatronic rides found in theme parks.
The daughter is in Israel doing serious stuff, learning about culture, religion, history.

Yes, she is riding a camel, but don't think for a minute this fun activity negates the seriousness of the excellent educational opportunity.

I lived for six months in the small town of Arad, in the south of Israel. The local Bedouins kept camels, which roamed freely around the outskirts of the town, a hobbling rope tied between their front legs keeping them from going too far astray. Their bemused expressions added unique local color to the desert environs and nearby shopping mall.

The locals were visibly annoyed whenever I mentioned the camels, feeling the town's cultural attributes were made small by the Lawrence of Arabia shtick the camels represented.

From my current perspective, the fear is that if one has too much fun in Israel one can be accused of "fun-washing" the more pressing issues of the day.

On the flip side, we must not let ourselves become too hardened from the political realities of the world, so remember your buddy the camel.


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