A few weeks ago I was sitting in the backseat of a rental car with my mom in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem. My father needed to mail a parcel and we sat waiting for him outside the post office watching a wealth of diversity pass by. During my time in Israel I was constantly in awe of this diversity; so many people from so many backgrounds and belief systems residing in such a small place. Everyone seemed so very different, and yet much the same. That morning we had breakfast with a Jewish mother and daughter and watched their interactions. Now we sat in the silence of our rental car watching a Muslim mother communicate with her well covered daughter. We observed the obvious differences in dress, mannerisms, languages, etc. and I quietly thought about the different struggles each passerby must face. As I was pondering these things my mother began a story as she so often does.
“Do you remember when we were here in the 90’s and visited our friend who was working as an undercover journalist living in the Old City? When later asked to share her observations of the many struggles Muslim women face she was expected to give a long list of grievances on that subject. But she only said this. ‘All women share the same struggles. In every country our struggles are the same.’