Ishmael Khaldi was born in Khawaled, a village near Haifa. He is the third of eleven children. He lived in a Bedouin tent until the age of eight. He walked four miles (6 km) round trip to attend school and tended flocks of sheep. He said his family's ties with its Jewish neighbors go back to the days of the early Zionist pioneers from Eastern Europe who settled in the Galilee region in the 1920s.
Ishmael earned a Bachelors degree in political science from the University of Haifa and a Masters degree in political science and international relations from Tel Aviv University. He served in the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Israel Police, and in the Israel Defense Forces as a political analyst.
He initiated a project called "Hike and Learn with Bedouins in the Galilee" that has brought thousands of young Jews to Khawaled to learn about Bedouin culture and history. He said these encounters inspired him to become a diplomat.
Ishmael began working for the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 2004. Throughout his distinguished career, he served as Vice Consul at the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco, and was Councilor for Civil Society Affairs at the Israeli Embassy in London. Plus, Ishmael was a policy advisor to former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He also served in posts in Ghana, Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria, Nepal, India and Miami.
In 2020, Ishmael was appointed Israel's Ambassador to Eritrea.
On this episode, Ishmael shares his two options for one way ticket journeys – one to the Bedouin lifestyle of his grandparents, the other to New York City. He also talks about the life of a diplomat, the life of the Bedouin community in Israel, and the fascinating country that is Eritrea where he will soon be serving as Israel's Ambassador.
Ishmael is just one of the dynamic personalities featured on The One Way Ticket Show, where Host Steven Shalowitz explores with his guests where they would go if given a one way ticket, no coming back. Destinations may be in the past, present, future, real, imaginary or a state of mind.
Steven's guests have included: Nobel Peace Prize Winner, President Jose Ramos-Horta; Legendary Talk Show Host, Dick Cavett; Law Professor, Alan Dershowitz; Fashion Expert, Tim Gunn; Broadcast Legend, Charles Osgood; International Rescue Committee President & CEO, David Miliband; Playwright, David Henry Hwang; Journalist-Humorist-Actor, Mo Rocca; SkyBridge Capital Founder & Co-Managing Partner, Anthony Scaramucci; Abercrombie & Kent Founder, Geoffrey Kent; Travel Expert, Pauline Frommer, as well as leading photographers, artists, chefs, writers, intellectuals and more.