I was born to a Jewish mother and a Muslim father… Perhaps my father didn’t practice his religion much, but he’s a Muslim nonetheless.My mother, on the other hand, is from a conservative Jewish family that places an importance on practicing the religion and its rites. They met in Tunisia, where my family is from, fell in love and got married despite their families’ opposition. Strangely, their marriage didn’t last long. They fought a lot and ended up getting a divorce after my sister, Dana, and I were born.
Nada replied, “It’s okay… what’s happening around us makes us forget that we worship the same God, even if the details and conditions differ.”
Ahmad drifted for a moment, trying to take in her shocking words. He hadn’t gotten close to any Arab Jews before and didn’t know anything about their way of thinking. His main conception of them was that they secretly hate Muslims. But this girl standing in front of him is saying things unlike what he was accustomed to. Her words made him doubt many things he thought was sure of.
Her voice interrupted his thoughts. She clarified, “Don’t think what I’m saying is strange… I grew up in a family of different religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. There are no boundaries between them.
Nada stopped and turned to him, giving him her attention.
“Miss… you’re Jewish, right?”
Nada immediately looked down at the Star of David that gave her away from the start and did not respond.
“Then why are you helping us?”
She lifted her eyes, annoyed, and exclaimed, “What does my religion have to do with offering humanitarian help? Doesn’t your religion teach you to show mercy and kindness and give a helping hand to anyone who needs it, regardless of their religion or faith? Isn’t that the message of all Abrahamic religions?”
Ahmad was bewildered and taken aback by her response. He hung his head ashamed. A Jewish girl giving him a lesson in morals!
All he could do was mumble an apology, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.”