The key to peace in the Mideast: FOOD!

Screw journalism.

When I grow up, I’m going to go into the restaurant business.

I keep kosher–the food that I, along with Jews of the past and future, eat must follow the laws of the Torah. My friend Syema keeps halal–similar laws set out by the Koran that Muslims follow.

So here’s my idea. Why don’t Syema and I create a restaurant that follows both kosher and halal laws?

According to Wikipedia, both kashrut (kosher) and halal forbid pork, have certain rules for slaughtering animals, and forbid the consumption of blood. Our restaurant, naturally, will follow those laws.

The kashrut laws are a bit more strict, regarding which specific animals are kosher. Many kinds of seafood and various animals are allowed under halal laws but are not kosher. Also, halal doesn’t restrict eating milk and meat together, which is prohibited under kashrut. But then again, halal does not allow the consumption of alcohol. Therefore, our store will comply with the strictest of the rules belonging to each religion.

The store will be closed for all Muslim and Jewish holidays that require fasting or rest, including the entire week of Passover. During Ramadan, the restaurant will be open only after sunset, as the Muslims will be fasting all day long.

Cards with prayers for Jewish and Muslim services (including the Jewish grace after meals) will be available.

As for the menu, it will be a best-of-both-worlds kind of place–a sampling of the favorite dishes of Jews and Muslims worldwide. (Suggestions for what you’d like to see on the menu? Let me know.)

It is our hope that Jews and Muslims will use this restaurant as a way to bring peace between the two cultures. While some members of our religions may be fighting elsewhere across the world, there is no reason for us to be at strife here. Our religions have many similarities–why not celebrate them over matzah ball soup and biryani?

Here’s the best part: the name of our restaurant. We’ll call it…drumroll, please…

Shalom Salaami.

Coming soon to a location near you!

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4 thoughts on “The key to peace in the Mideast: FOOD!

  1. I applaud the effort and idea, no doubt. It’s a wonderful step towards a great friendship. Some concerns I do have, however, include:
    -Biryani representing more of an Indian cuisine, rather than a Muslim dish…
    -The name of the restaurant–while extremely clever and kind of makes me chuckle, I feel like the Jewish word is represented well while the Islamic greeting is sort of mocked…don’t you think?
    Just my thoughts
    Kudos 🙂
    Best,
    Maham

    By the way I’m back and I want to see my fav nw girls!

  2. I asked Sy for a good Muslim food to use and that’s what she gave me. I tried searching Google for “Muslim foods” but it didn’t really give me anything. What’s a more typical Muslim food?

    I did not mean to offend you by “mocking” your greeting. It is just unfortunate that you cannot add one letter to “Shalom” and make it into the name of a food. Somehow, Salaam Shalomi doesn’t really have the same ring to it. But I’ll keep trying to come up with other titles for it.

    I hope you help us with this restaurant! (You just happened to not be online when I was writing this, otherwise I would have asked you for your help.)

    And I can’t wait to see you!

  3. Hey–

    I only mentioned biryani because Muslims really don’t have their own special dish because of the many cultures that are incorporated into our religion. I mean it would have been fine to say matzah and dates (since we open our fast with dates, but no one eats dates as an entree at a restaurant. Hey, maybe we can start that too?!

  4. First of all, my friend Samira and I totally came up with this years ago.

    Secondly, we called it Kalel food, and the best idea for a name was: As-Salamu Aleichem or Shalom Alaykum, the obvious merger between the two similar greetings.

    Of course, we’re not actually going through with it, so you can have the idea.

    Another naming possibility would be something related to Chag/Hajj.

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