Tag Archives: Israel and Palestine

Cahiers de Hoummous: The Return of MidLaw from the Levant

Version 2MidLaw is back. Back from the Middle East. Israel and Palestine.

MidLaw traveled with a group of 18 students and 5 teachers from Westtown School. We came from China, Korea, Nigeria, Kenya, England and many parts of the United States. (MidLaw’s hummus studies proceeded parallel to the students’ work.)

We visited a broad range of communities, groups, families and a settlement in Israel and Palestine. Our meals were served “family style.” During the first week, we were served hummus at literally every meal (but one). Hummus at breakfast, lunch and dinner. After the first week, the pattern was the same. ALWAYS, we had hummus at breakfast.

And so, MidLaw has eaten hummus at

  • hotels and restaurants
  • the home of an Israeli businessman and military officer (where I learned that he is CEO of the largest supplier of chickpea seeds in the region)
  • the home of a Palestinian author, religious leader and peace activist
  • a kibbutz
  • a Palestinian refugee camp
  • a Palestinian family farm
  • a Bedouin encampment
  • a Druze village
  • an Israeli youth hostel
  • a Christian guest house in Bethlehem
  • The Friends School in Ramallah (in the company of the leader of Palestine’s largest telecommunications company).

In East Jerusalem, we had hummus from famed hummus bar Abu Shukri. In Jaffa, to MidLaw’s dismay we were not able to get to Abu Hassan, although we had hummus at another place nearby.

In Nazareth, we had a meal that was presented as typical of what Jesus would commonly have eaten. Turns out Jesus was a big fan of hummus.

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At the center of Barta’a

The best hummus for MidLaw’s money was at a café in the center of the village of Barta’a. Uniquely, Barta’a sits directly on “the Green Line.” The Green Line is the line drawn on maps to demark Israeli territory at the end of the 1948 War. At Barta’a, the map was misread. What looked on the map like a river, was in fact a drainage ditch – and so, the Green Line was drawn right through the middle of the village, down the ditch. That created a bizarrely split village, with different laws and different taxes depending on what side of the ditch you’re on.

Anyway, there’s a café in Barta’a that sits just on the Palestinian side of the ditch. The hummus there is fantastic.

Lunch at Barta'a

Lunch at Barta’a

So, MidLaw has seen a lot of hummus. And eaten it all with enthusiasm. Three times a day. And after careful study, MidLaw has concluded that the hummus in the Levant is fully the equal of MidLaw hummus. I mean it! It’s very good.

Still, the Lesson of the Levant is that the key to great hummus is roll your own – with MidLaw Mind.

YOU are Abu Shukri.