Hummus from an American

“You need to be ready and waiting outside at 11:00 on Friday. Bring a jacket. We’re going to a park for a family picnic.” Farouk called me early in May to prepare me for the week’s deviation from established routine. Oh, this would be fun. By May, it was definitely warming up. When I hadContinue reading “Hummus from an American”


King Herod’s Palace. Yes, that same King Herod.  He built a palace. In fact, several palaces. A great builder of his time, Herod constructed his primary residence in Jerusalem. It was a massive structure, second in importance only to the Temple. Nothing remains today of that palace. Herod was an ambitious king who constructed numerousContinue reading “Herodium”

An American Visitor

My first visit to Palestine was a three-week vacation in September 2013. Through online interaction, I had met and conversed with a Palestinian man from West Bank. Arrangements were made so that this person would be my host and guide during a short vacation. Excited about my exotic travel plans (I had never left USContinue reading “An American Visitor”

An Oasis of Humanity

“Oh my gosh! What a view!” I had not anticipated it. As I turned and gazed across the open expanse, I was looking toward the site that the Hamdan family would enjoy from their home not yet built. An open picture of southern Palestine lay below. Olive groves; small villages; open desert in numerous huesContinue reading “An Oasis of Humanity”

Fawwar, West Bank, Palestine

Fawwar is a Palestinian town near Hebron in the south of West Bank, Palestine. Established as a refugee camp in 1949, Fawwar became home to war refugees from the towns of Beersheba and Bayt Jibrin. Today Fawwar with it several thousand Palestinians is home to my sponsor family of Al Jaabari.  Fawwar sits low inContinue reading “Fawwar, West Bank, Palestine”

Palestinian Stuffed Grape Leaves

I found this recipe and guide online at a site called Arab Recipes, Your Cooking Guide. I cannot find a name associated with the account. So until I do, I simply give credit to the kind knowledgeable person who shared one of my delights from Palestine. To the adventurous reader, trust me. The time andContinue reading “Palestinian Stuffed Grape Leaves”

Palestinian Cooking 101

On one Friday in April, I arrived at the Al Jaabari home amid a flurry of activity. The weather had warmed and spring was in bloom. I was ushered left, not right, through the dining room. Family was gathering outdoors in the square courtyard, a space perhaps twenty-five feet square. High concrete walls on allContinue reading “Palestinian Cooking 101”

Israeli Settlements

Dominate Discussion at Dinner Noor turned toward me where I was seated at the end of the table, a place of honor for a guest at the family dinner.  As Noor spoke in English, the din of family conversation hushed. Everyone showed respect and listened to the family’s niece. “Mr. Ric, let me tell youContinue reading “Israeli Settlements”

Family Meal

West Bank–Fawwar, 2014 Noise in the front doorway, sounds of cars passing on the street. Holy Day prayer service had ended and more guests had arrived for weekly family gathering.  I was introduced to Farouk’s sister Miriam and her husband Fahim. Three young women extended hasty greetings and then disappeared into the kitchen to assistContinue reading “Family Meal”