Omar Haroon and David Weiner are two friends who met through the NewGround program. Omar is Muslim and David is Jewish, and what I appreciate about their conversation is the sense of coinciding conflict and kinship it gives. They both introduce each other, and as Omar thanks David for his “vote of friendship,” David jokes “we’ll reevaluate at the end of this conversation” — and they both laugh.
Interestingly enough, both David and Omar told stories in whiched they gained insight from the false assumptions of others. Omar gives an account of his trip to Israel, and being mistaken for an Israeli Jew while he was there. David tells the story of a homeless man making an anti-Semetic remark to him, unaware that David himself was a Jew. In both cases, this sort of mistaken identity seemed to give a useful perspective. In a moment of stepping outside of their own identities, they’re given a glimpse of what the world looks like to the “other.” Find more stories from other Interfaith fellows here. Special thanks to StoryCorps, who recorded these stories in Los Angeles in 2009.