Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tattoos bridge cultural gap

Avid reality T.V. enthusiasts and tattoo aficionados know Ami James as the talented tattoo artist from the popular show Miami Ink. What many people don't know about the tough-looking artist is that he is Israeli. James was born in Israel, lived there as a child and returned to serve in the IDF.

In a scene from the new TLC show All-American Muslim, which follows ordinary Muslim families in Michigan, Bilal Amen, a Lebanese-American, gets a tattoo from James. He is apprehensive about the reaction the Israeli tattoo artist will have to the Lebanese flag on his back, where the new tattoo will also be inked.

From the video below Amen and James demonstrate how sharing perspectives and having mutual respect can surmount cultural tensions.

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