By Earl Shugerman:
Most people outside Israel are not aware of the fact that 25% of Israel’s population, are not from a Jewish background, and amongst them are Christians, Muslims, and Druze. Many people outside of this region are not aware of the diversity of streams within these faiths. One of the most glaring aspects of life in Israel is that each of the major religions is represented by a myriad of these religious streams. The differences aren’t just theological, but are social, political, financial, and educational. For example, there are four Arab political parties in the governing body of Israel – The Knesset. There are numerous Jewish political parties with a wide divergence of philosophy and goals.
Haifa is the spiritual center of the Ahmadiyya in Israel. The meaning of the word Ahmadiyya in Arabic means stream. This is a Muslim religious movement numbering in the millions worldwide . The majority of the movements’ members are in Pakistan and India, but they have a significant population in over 195 countries in the world.
In Israel their numbers are small, and they are primarily located in Cabbabir. This is a village within Haifa, which is the third largest city in Israel. I live next to Cabbabir, which is a pleasant community of mid-priced homes, tree lined streets, parks, and small cafes. The lower part of Cabbabir has a wonderful view of the sea. I love to wander around the neighborhood and mingle with the local residents. Arabic and Hebrew are widely spoken.