Jacky , at the office, has been interviewing people for a project that she calls "Humans of Wahat al-Salam - Neve Shalom", a take on the famous "Humans of NY" website/book/facebook page. She asked me to read through the interviews for typos and mistakes, which I did. Met, along the way, some really beautiful people in the village who I've never actually had a conversation with - especially young people who I remember as kids but who are now in their 30s. (Sometimes that's how I remember them, and don't always recognize them these days when they pass me on the street.)
Communities are always full of disadvantages - sometimes village politics hardens the relationship between people and so they barely talk to one another. Sometimes there are disappointments, like N. today screaming, crying and banging on her desk at me today that nobody was coming to her assistance after the fire. But for all of that, I think I would never trade the experience of living in a community for living the life of an individual, in complete anonymity.
All my life I have gravitated towards communities. They ease so many difficulties in life, and, especially for a foreigner living a strange country, they provide a ready sense of identity and allegiance. And even for an ordinary person, they give a richness that would otherwise be missing in their life. One of the interviewees in Jacky's book said something like "The community is me - I made it - and I identify with it totally". It's a sense of identity that is much more problematic with larger units, such as countries. I have always felt alienated towards all the nations in which I have lived, including the one where I was born. I'm deeply cynical of all nations; their myths and their militarism.
Most communities are organized around some sense of common identity, such as ethnicity, religious or ideological identity. Monasteries, ashrams, cults, kibbutzes, kolhozes, ideological communes, etc. Ours is rather unusual in that it is binational, bilingual, and based on mutual respect for our differences. It's fairly loose though; more like a village with some commonly owned projects.