Coffee Talk 10-10-11
|The opening meeting of Coffee Talk took place at Marianne Mandel-Brown's home in Montgomery on Monday, October 10, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. Michael Bassin, the 25-year-old son of Hadassah member Gayna Bassin, was guest speaker. He talked about his experiences as a university student in Egypt and Sharjah, one of the United Arab Emirates.|
Approximately 25 women enjoyed light refreshments in the kitchen, then settled into the living room. Michael Bassin made a dramatic entrance wearing a long white kandura and ghutrah head covering, the traditional dress of men in the United Arab Emirates. He explained that these clothes were a gift to him from friends he made while attending the American University of Sharjah. When he was an undergraduate at the George Washington University, he spent one semester in Sharjah and a summer session at the American University of Cairo. As an openly Jewish American, he made many friends but also experienced some dangerous situations. He also traveled to several other Middle Eastern countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Dubai, Oman and India. After graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations, he immigrated to Israel and served two years as an Arabic translator and sniper in the Kfir Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces. He is currently writing a book about his experiences in the Arab world.
Tobe Snow, Coffee Talk Chair and Programming Vice President of Cincinnati Chapter, presented Michael with a Hadassah Certificate and gave a beautiful Hadassah pin to Marianne Mandel-Brown to thank her for hosting tonight's Coffee Talk. She spoke about Hadassah's two hospitals in Jerusalem and how Hadassah works for peace in the Middle East by providing medical care, education and other services to people of all religions and backgrounds. She also spoke about the special $100 lifetime membership offer, in effect until Dec. 31st, in honor of Hadassah's 100th anniversary.