If there is one thing that I am always amazed in in this culture, it is their hospitality. I think the western world has failed in many ways in our ability to make people feel at home. Here, I have visited several shops of people we know that are overwhelmingly welcoming. In some stores this is because they want you to buy something. But in the stores of people we are friends with, it is simply because they like you and want you to feel comfortable there.
I also had the special opportunity to visit a coworker at her home in the Old City of Jerusalem. She is an Arab Christian that has lived in Jerusalem her whole life. Today, she invited three of us over who have never been to her family home before. Her mother graciously welcomed us in and fed us a delicious lunch of rice, an okra and chicken stew, salad, and ice cream for dessert! During our time there, a couple of their friends dropped in to visit and we all were able to chat with each other. It was so comfortable. Even though we didn't know these people, they accepted us as their friends. I felt so special to get to be part of their lives and see what a normal afternoon in a Jerusalem home looks like.