Coexistence via Ice Cream
An Arab-Jewish Ice Cream Shop’s Sweet Story
At the new ice cream parlor in Tarshiha, the common language is the sound of a lick. With a mixed clientele of Muslims, Christians and Jews from Israel and abroad, visitors will hear Hebrew, Arabic, English and a smattering of other languages being spoken between licks.
Adam Ziv and Alaa Sawitat opened Bouza (‘ice cream’ in Arabic) last July and have attracted a steady stream of clientele curious about this partnership between an Arab Muslim and a Jewish kibbutznik in the Tarshiha shuk (marketplace), which is not usually associated with swanky ice cream stores. What also helps business is that the nearest homemade ice cream shop in the Western Galilee is 16 kilometers away.
But it’s the taste that brings customers back, says Ziv.
‘We’re not just a novelty of being a Muslim-Jewish coexistence ice cream store,’ Ziv tells ISRAEL21c. ‘We make ice cream that people like.’
Bouza’s customers range from schoolchildren (who pay the equivalent of just $1.25 if they come in school uniform) to grandparents. Ice cream is served by portion size and not by the scoop, with prices ranging between $2.35 and $4.50.