At the center of Palestinians’ social lives is food.  The cuisine is generally similar to the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan (together comprising the Levant).  And because of the proximity, the cuisine of Gaza can be similar to that of Egypt.

Foods like hummous (chick pea dip), tabbouleh (minced parsley with crushed wheat and tomatoes), mujadarah (lenils with rice), chicken and lamb shwarma, and falafel (ground chick pea patties) are common throughout most of Palestine and will sound familiar to a Western audience.  There is, however, a dish uniquely Palestinian and it is called Musakhan.  Musakhan is roasted chicken with sautéed onions, sumac, and allspice.

In Gaza and coastal areas of Palestine/Israel, fresh fish and seafood has also become part of the cuisine.  On a festive occasion and if a family can afford to buy seafood, they might make a zibdiyit gambari, whole large shrimp stewed in a clay pot with tomatoes, chilis, garlic, fresh dill, sweet peppers and olive oil, and garnished with toasted pine nuts or almonds.

Sweets after a meal range from baklawa to knafeh – a sweet that originally hails from Nablus, Palestine.  Knafeh is made with sweetened cheese, shredded Filo dough, and rosewater syrup.

Snack foods are usually nuts, olives, dates, or figs.  Those who drink alcohol will drink arak (very comparable to Greek uzo.

Regardless of the food or drink, it will be offered up with the traditional Arab hospitality.

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