I just spent the last hour tagging all my old posts and I realized, though my system was not perfect or all-inclusive, I used to write a lot more about politics, religion, and food. These are, after all, the three main reasons I am so fascinated with the Middle East. Individually, each is unique and eminently important to this region, but taken together they form a triad of regional distinctiveness and even a cause for intra-regional tension.
Israelis, Palestinians, Lebanese, and just about everyone else all claim tabbouleh and hummus and falafel as their own. This sense of ownership leads to the sense of disenfranchisement, hence everyone’s distrust of everyone else. Throw religion into the mix and you have a veritable minefield of personal, ethnic, and national opinion directly and distinctly at odds with that of your closest neighbor. A recipe for nothing if not disaster.