A different world

Last Sunday afternoon, my friend from work, Issa, took me to a center here in Tel Aviv for Sudanese and Eritrean refugees. It was like walking into a different world. I see some Africans on the streets of Tel Aviv and in the Embassy occasionally, but the refugee center is in a part of town dominated by them. I had no idea that there are around 30,000 refugees in Israel.

Their status here is largely undefined. The Israeli government doesn’t want to give them true refugee status. They are not really supposed to work, but the government generally turns a blind eye.

My friend Issa has volunteered with that community since high school, and I appreciate him introducing me to the people at the center and showing me the neighborhood.

Thursday night, I went to book club here for the first time. It’s a women’s group, and we discussed “The Good Earth,” by Pearl Buck. It was a good discussion and a fun evening.

John took me out to dinner one night, to our favorite restaurant, Whitehall. It’s nice to have  a place where they know you and treat you well.

Speaking of that, we heard last night that there was a shooting at our favorite restaurant in Juarez, very near our old house there. We immediately thought of the manager and waiters there who were always so nice to us, and we hope they are OK. It seems that the violence there just keeps getting worse.

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