OVER THE 14 years, since she first arrived in Israel, Brous has learned to speak Hebrew and Arabic, earned two master s degrees and founded Bustan ("orchard" in Arabic), a grassroots organisation that assists Bedouins and brings their plight to the awareness of Westerners.
Brous doesn't idealise Bedouins, they are no better nor worse than any other group of people, she says. "But I wish affluent consumer cultures would stop long enough to examine how traditional people interact with the land and enrich it," Brous commented during a visit to Los Angeles. "The Bedouins know how to grow wheat, barley and lentils without water, fertiliser or pesticides. They are stewards of the land who can teach us how to connect with our environment."
Brous founded Bustan in 1999. "There are no overheads because we don't have an office," she says proudly. "We don't want to profit from Bedouin suffering." An e-mail newsletter is transmitted regularly from her Jerusalem apartment to more than 30,000 people worldwide. Some 30 Israeli, European and Bedouin volunteers work on …