In Georgia, asking for tea gets you a tall glass of sweetened iced tea. It took awhile for a Yankee like me to get the hang of it. Here in Iraq, where I'm serving as an ELCA military chaplain, drinking tea has an almost sacramental character. No one would think of holding a meeting here without chai tea.
How tea is made and the way it is served is a gateway for spiritual diplomacy, giving me insight into the soul of Iraqis. Spiritual diplomacy, a term I learned from a Danish Lutheran chaplain in Bosnia, reflects the sacred dynamics when people of faith enter into authentic dialogue.
Iraqi people have a specific way of preparing tea.
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