In Sinai Three

Naseer has brought me my Nescafe and tahina and lebne (the soft flat pita type bread of the region.) Yesterday in Ein Hudra, the lovely palm filled oasis where we spent the night , I watched Zainub make this same bread by hand and two days before Ayesha, the sister in law of Achmed, who was our mountain and desert guide, let me try my hand at it. This is bread without yeast, just flour , salt and water. For many years the Beduins lived on this and milk which they call leben, the same word in Bedu, as the word for life. I learned this word as a child at our next door neighbor Vickie George’s house.Vickie was a vivacious, gentle, laughing presence in my childhood. Lebonese, she made Lebi each day, a lovely yoghurt that I discovered before Dannon became a hosehold word, in her house. “Lebi “ , Vickie would tell me each time I visited her hoping for this treat, “In our language means life.” That is how important Lebi is to Lebonese people and here it is the same. I was just thinking a moment ago about how the word ‘multicultural” has been so corrupted. As a immigrant Italian child, I grew up truly multicultural and not only because I was child born in America to Southern Italians. My childhood was filled and surrounded by Lithuaians, Armeinians, Polish, Black, Ukrainians, Greeks, Irish, French Canadians etc. We ran in and out of each others houses. We ate each others food. We heard each others original languages spoken in the homes, because nearly everyone I grew up with spokeEnglishoutside and their own language at home.Now the word multicultural has nothing to do with people but with politics and it is used in a divisive way. In my…

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