Over the summer, I went to Israel through a program called Onward Israel. On this program, we had one day a week in which we got to travel and explore Israel. One of our first trips was to Usafiya, the Druze village of Israel located at the top of the Carmel Mountain.
At the Druze village, we listened to an incredible lecture from a Druze woman about their unique traditions, beliefs and history. We later even experienced the friendliness of the Druze people: they greeted us with such warmth at the village, smiling at us and waving avidly in our direction.
After listening to the Druze woman’s lecture, we had an amazing feast—my mouth is still watering from the delicious food they prepared for us, filled with zesty aromas and tangy condiments.
The experience as a whole strengthened my connection to Israel as it not only showed me the beauty of the land, but also opened my eyes to the bountiful diversity that is currently present in Israel today. The culture I experienced was something completely different from anything I could have possibly imagined. It opened my eyes. It was utterly inspirational to see the openness and respect that the various different communities of Israel showed towards each other, given their close proximity and uniqueness of cultures.