05 October 2007

Druze out in Space

Wow. This is a fascinating profile of a Druze working on his doctoral dissertation in Germany. A great piece about the fluidity of identity.

Samuel Schidem, one of the guides [in Berlin's Jewish Museum] for Hebrew-speaking groups, chose to do his job in such a way as to "remove visitors from their Israeliness and make them think a little differently." Schidem shakes up the Israelis' regular thought patterns through their attempts to guess and catalog his identity.

"Some of them think I'm Yemenite or Moroccan, or maybe that I come from South America. At the end of the tour someone always asks where I'm from and where I learned Hebrew. I say that I'm an Israeli. And then immediately I get, 'From where in Israel?' and I say, 'From Usfiya.' And then there's a bit of shock, and right after that they get all excited. But I don't tell them at the beginning, because then they wouldn't listen to me the same way during the tour."