Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ramallah: a chance encounter with Madees Khoury, daughter of the first Palestinian microbrewers

People in Palestine say that Ramallah is not like the rest of their country.
"It's a bubble," said Sam Bahour, the Ohio-born Palestinian entrepreneur who came here after Oslo to help develop the country.

This afternoon in Ramallah, I stepped out of Stones, a hip focaccio place on a side street near the center of town where I had just immersed myself in an enormous baked potato with mushroom and cheese sauce, and nearly literally bumped into this young, energetic woman. Madees Khoury was deliv
ering kegs of her family's Taybeh Beer -- proudly the first Palestinian microbrewery. Here's the briefest of introductions.

Reflecting o
n myself and why I want to share this encounter with you, I realize it is to show the non-scary side of Palestinian life.
From what I see traveling around here, 99.44% of Palestinian life is non-scary.
But, so often the picture in Canada and in the Jewish community of Palestine is both desperate misery and rabid anger. I hardly ever see an image of Palestine and Palestinians which is attractive, interesting, lively or happy.
Walking through the streets of Ramallah, Bethlehem and Dheisheh, sitting in cafes, talking with people, going into the Abd el-Jamal Nasser Mosque at evening prayer time, even in listening to a young woman whose father's prison now for three years with no trial, I have experienced a side of life which is deep, rich and very attractive.

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