That Famous Israeli Mezze Station: Harvard Business School

That Famous Israeli Mezze Station: Harvard Business School
Note: The original post started on Facebook. Do go through the comments, they are hilarious. Harvard Business School replied with a very gracious, responsible response, which really set a noble example proving that with dialogue and a little bit of humor, everything can potentially be solved. I thus wrote a response post that can be read on Facebook or on my website, which also went viral. There is a third and final follow-up post, which is an open letter to Israel, that I wrote after a series of articles erupted across the web condemning me and Harvard University for not eating Israeli food; that can also be read on Facebook or on my website. The morale of the story is not so much that the Arab world won a food battle against Israel, but that humor and knowledge can go very, very far in speaking to and for the dignity of people.

Alright Harvard Business School, let’s have a word or two.

I understand that you like to “change” things in your dining room every once in a while to tickle the palate of the HBS kids who have a tendency to grow blasé rather quickly of your stationary Italian, Asian, & Micronesian stations, so you feel the need to spice it up with an occasional exotic nationality… but this, THIS, is where we draw the line. Israeli food station? Hold your breath.

Let’s see:
1. Harissa (هريسة) is a Tunisian and Libyan hot chili sauce whose main ingredient is piri piri. Piri piri grows in the wild in Africa. → Since Israel is not in Africa, Harissa is not Israeli.

2. Couscous (كسكس) is a Maghrebian dish, a staple food throughout Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Libya. Not Israeli. As for “Israeli couscous”, the real name is “Maftoul” (مفتول), which is a Palestinian dish of Couscous.

3. Fattūsh (فتوش) is a word made of Arabic fatt “crush” and the suffix of Turkic origin -ūsh. Coining words this way was common in Syrian Arabic as well as in other dialects of Arabic. → Unless Israel’s main language is Arabic, this too is NOT Israeli.

4. Halloumi (χαλούμι) is a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goats’ and sheep milk. It’s not even ARABIC. So seriously, your “fuck-you” is not even centered around Arabs, it’s going west. → Until Cyprus becomes another conquered Israeli territory, Halloumi is considered NOT Israeli.

5. Hummus (حُمُّص): Let’s get to the bottom of this once and for all. Hummus is an Arabic word meaning “chickpeas.” Ok? It is an Arabic word. As far as “Israelis” are concerned, they don’t speak Arabic. So unless you change your primary language, you have no argument here. The earliest documented recipe for something similar to modern hummus dates to 13th Century (CE) Egypt. → Since Israel was created in 1948, Israel is NOT 13th CENTURY EGYPT! And Hummus is therefore NOT ISRAELI.

6. Tahini (طحينه): ONE: Tahini is a loanword from Arabic: طحينة, or more accurately ṭaḥīnīa طحينية, and is derived from the root ط ح ن Ṭ-Ḥ-N which as a verb طحن ṭaḥan which means “to grind.” TWO: You can only make Hummus with Tahini, since it is the second main ingredient. → As per the argument of Hummus, we conclude that Tahini is NOT Israeli.

7. Zaatar (زَعْتَر): Alright. Zaatar is THYME. It is a Middle-Eastern plant. It grows in Palestine and other land areas. Since Israel is modern-day Palestine, then I can see why you would like to make that plant Israeli. And you might be able to get away with it. But get this: Zaatar is an Arabic word. So, to make your argument more solid, why don’t you use a Hebrew word for it? Like “שקר”, which is hebrew for LIE.

8. Mezze (in the title): This word (which refers to a selection of small dishes) comes from the Turkish meze ‘taste, flavour, snack, relish’, borrowed from Persian مزه (maze ‘taste, snack’ < mazīdan ‘to taste’) and/or the Greek version mezés (μεζές). SO TURKISH, PERSIAN and GREEK → NOT ISRAELI.

9. “Sweet & Sour”: This draws the f*ckin limit. Now this sure isn’t Arabic, but I would like to see Chinatown respond to this.

Dear HBS, that “Israeli Mezze Station” is the ultimate multicultural, multireligious fuck-you in the face of ALL Arabs at once from North Africa to the Levant… (while engaging a small spit on the Cypriots)… NINE counts.

If you insist on giving no honor to the Arabs (many of whom are Harvard students/alumni- “hi!”), and/or if you insist on never ever speaking of Arabs in culinary worth (since we’re only ever referred to as warmongers and terrorists), at least have the decency of calling it MEDITERRANEAN MEZZE STATION.

Israel already has a hard time keeping face in the Arab world for the way it has “appropriated” its lands since 1948, don’t make it worse for them by having them appropriate other peoples’ foods as well.

“Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party is an Islamic fundamentalist and/or has ties to the Chinese government. We will rectify the nationality of your dish accordingly.
Sincerely, HBS”


(Picture taken by my dear friend/Harvard classmate “Mohamed El Dahshan” two days ago in the Harvard Business School Dining Room)

Written by Sara El-Yafi


  1. Hassan A. Mohanna · October 28, 2012

    Great research on the food names. Thanks.

  2. Liliane Mia Khoury · October 28, 2012

    nicely put Sarah!!

  3. Yasmine Mikati · October 28, 2012

    Excellent piece! How do we get it to the right people?

    • Elissar Boujaoude · October 28, 2012

      The daily current is a political satire publication, like the Onion, etc. That is the gist of the article.

  4. Mansour A. Mansour · October 28, 2012

    Are you at hbs? I am around for the week.

  5. Sara El-Yafi · October 28, 2012

    *No Mansour, I am in LA right now. Too bad though, we would have lunched at the Israeli mezze station together. Come to LA?
    *Elissar, yes better to let people know this is a joke, because we really do not want to anger the Muslim world again and commit another atrocious murder of an American ambassador.
    *Yasmine, good question. Start by sharing? Then maybe the New York Times will pick it up.. (miss u btw)

  6. David Martinez · October 28, 2012

    Boom! Sara – you rocked it on this one

  7. Lulu Turk · October 28, 2012

    Clearly …. I must tell you…the hummus wars have been going on for a few years now 🙂 Love this post!!

  8. Haytham Kaafarani · October 28, 2012

    Love the point to point taking. Great 🙂

  9. Anise Naser · October 28, 2012

    What!? Even Larry David admitted…….it’s Palestinian chicken. Shame on Harvard.

  10. Amahl Bishara · October 28, 2012

    Oh goodness gracious!

  11. Nancy A. Khalil · October 28, 2012

    Probably the only way Dining Services could justify the $8.15 for a dining hall lunch. We should add a ‘Dear Director of Dining Services’ to the top of this post and a ‘Sincerely,’ +all our names at the bottom and send it off with a CC to the Crimson.

  12. Susan Abulhawa · October 28, 2012

    what do you expect? they don’t even have a culture of their own they have to steal ours! they took our land, our homes, our farms, our trees, our olives, our rivers, our water, even our mud. let’s not forgot that they stole our story, most important of all. now they’re claiming our food. it wont be long before they claim our kaffiyeh and embroidery.

    • Joe · February 9, 2015

      “They” don’t have a culture of its own? That’s a rather bigoted statement Ms Abulhawa

      And Israel has “stolen our story”? That’s a new one.

  13. Susan Abulhawa · October 28, 2012

    they’re an empty, pieced together, manufactured society, made of everything stolen.

  14. Omar Tabba · October 28, 2012

    I love the way you write. You’re very good at choosing words that convey emotion 🙂

  15. Zina Sawaf · October 28, 2012

    Sara… publish this!

  16. Janice Hayden · October 28, 2012


  17. Fadi Abilmona · October 28, 2012

    Publish it.

  18. Sara El-Yafi · October 28, 2012

    *Nancy: Let’s do it. If you have any logistical ideas of what is the best way to go about this, shoot me a message and we’ll make it happen.
    *Zina, Fadi: Nancy above had an interesting idea. I think that may work
    *Omar: Thank you, means a lot, lot to me xo

  19. Sumayya Z Ayoub · October 28, 2012

    Fattoush! Really?!?!?!?!?

  20. Sa'ed Adel Atshan · October 28, 2012

    Thanks for this brilliant response Sara El-Yafi, I agree that you should publish it! I know that Rami Sarafa at HBS is planning to write a response as well. I hope that the MENA Club at HBS will also issue a formal reply. It’s outrageous! As Susan Abulhawa as eloquently as allows laid out, they have appropriated everything.

  21. Sa'ed Adel Atshan · October 28, 2012

    Unfortunately they have also appropriated the kuffiyeh: What will be left of the Palestinian people?

  22. Carine Khoury Torres · October 28, 2012

    I love you Sara. I have to share this.

  23. Sara El-Yafi · October 28, 2012

    *Thank you Sa’ed. I hope we can get this out then.. I think it’s the responsibility of HBS and the catering company on this one.
    *Carine I love you too. By all means share share share… love & miss u xoxo

  24. Carine Khoury Torres · October 28, 2012

    Stupid phone is giving me a hard time. I was able to share the picture, but your eloquent and brilliant commentary got lost. Can you copy-paste it into the comments on my post, please?

  25. Sandra Hage · October 28, 2012

    Publish it

  26. Rudolph Elias · October 28, 2012

    Am I the only person that got frustrated but also hungry by this post? 🙂

  27. Rudolph Elias · October 28, 2012

    But I doubt a “chef” with so little cultural background would know how to really prepare that the right way. So I guess only frustration left. 🙂
    Bravo Sara!! Love you! And thank you Mohamed El Dahshan for unleashing Sara on that 🙂

  28. Khurshid Marwat · October 28, 2012

    Great work beautiful.

  29. Maria Gedeon · October 28, 2012

    I had so much fun reading this 🙂

  30. Lamis Khalilova Bartuskova · October 28, 2012

    Well said!

  31. Caline Aoun · October 28, 2012


  32. Hadil Ghoneim · October 28, 2012

    great work! i’m surprised though that the cases for fatoush, tahini and halloumi were ignored. they are not israeli either.

    • Sara El-Yafi · October 28, 2012

      Hadil Ghoneim: What do you mean? Points 3,4 and 6 are exactly about fattoush, tahini and halloumi.

  33. Michel Zoghzoghi · October 28, 2012

    Love it 🙂 🙂 you are “almost” forgiven for not calling me when you were in Lebanon :p

  34. Ari Cole · October 28, 2012

    Can we all just Eat Each Others Food in peace.
    Lets see a Lebanese station at HBS.

    • Maher Jallad · October 28, 2012

      Great one Sara! @ Ari, we won’t relax and live in peace until the theft stops and justice prevails.

    • Sara El-Yafi · October 28, 2012

      Ari Cole: We’re very very relaxed, just having fun with our friends over at the Israeli Mezze Station 🙂 and of course we can eat each others’ foods in peace, but the Israelis have no foods for us to eat, so that equation hasn’t been quite working for us. (Jewish NYC Pastrami though, now that’s delicious. But still, not Israeli.)

  35. Mary H. Kehdy · October 28, 2012

    Hahahaha!!!! This is by far one one the best things I’ve ever read on Facebook 🙂

  36. Johara Bouchama · October 28, 2012

    Awesome! Thank you for this little culinary class very enriching! And f”@& these idiots who can’t tell the diff between their heads and their rectums!

  37. Rami Harawi · October 28, 2012

    You’re right Ari… So let’s forget about the Israeli apartheid system for a second… How about we peacefully invite 5 million arabs to come into Israel, claim yamaka’s as Arab, call gefilte fish and matzah balls Palestinian, create a strongly Palestinian national identity for the Jaffa orange (oh wait…???), and strip any remaining cultural and social pride from the Jewish population in Israel? Could we please then Just Eat Each Others’ Food in Peace?… There must be equality for there to be peace… No apartheid system promotes equality… No apartheid system leaves room for peace.

  38. Sara El-Yafi · October 28, 2012

    *Mary H. Kehdy: Thank you Comments like yours make it all worth it
    *Johara Bouchama: hehe hilarious! And you’re welcome. Big kisses
    *Maher Jallad: hiiiii!
    *Michel Zoghzoghi: Je t’ai envoye un message et un bbm! Had to make all this fuss about non-Israeli food for you to talk to me! on se voit assez bientot j’espere!
    *Caline Aoun: love you

  39. Samah Abu-Ghazaleh · October 29, 2012

    wow very well written thanks for sharing, ur doing an excellent job

  40. Nadia El-Awady · October 29, 2012

    I’d love to know what the response was.

  41. Lamia Jallad · October 29, 2012

    Bravo Sara!! HBS can do better!! at the below link a trip back to our RISD Middle Eastern dips station back in 2001 Hummus, moutabbal and mouhammara dips with pita bread 🙂 with Abeer Seikaly Lina Sergie

  42. Ziad Ramman · October 29, 2012

    Nothing like an Israeli Mezza to really appreciate authentic and traditional cuisine.

  43. Rima Abed · October 29, 2012

    I FUCKING LOVE U!! loooool

  44. Nejma Bouchama · October 29, 2012

    Bravo Sara, amazing! Very infuriating this blunt appropriation of the arabic culinary heritage and culture. Also notice that the rest of the food on that menu is mainly eastern european….

  45. Sara El-Yafi · October 29, 2012

    *Samah Abu-Ghazaleh: Thank you 🙂
    *Nadia El-Awady: Will make sure to fwd it if/when I do get it!
    *Lamia Jallad: love your photo!! and love u 🙂
    *Ziad Ramman: True! Shall we scoop the Israeli Mezze Station? Might awaken some real patriotism in us
    *Rima Abed: lol!! Me too cuz!
    *Nejma Bouchama: You’re right.. It’s a mishmash of a bunch of different things. I guess we’ll find out soon enough what they were thinking when they put that up that.

  46. Nejma Bouchama · October 29, 2012

    This menu shows that in Israel people come from all over and have many influences and kept the best of culinary practices, all in branding it Israeli. It’s for the HBS cafeteria to set things straight in their menu: Il faut rendre à César ce qui est à César.

  47. Tarek Ksaybati · October 29, 2012

    Love it Sarah! Bravo. The world is being fooled by nearly anything called “Israeli” food.

  48. Ari Cole · October 29, 2012

    $8.15 is over priced.
    HBS prices are as high as a cats back!

  49. Farrah Jarral · October 29, 2012


  50. Farrah Jarral · October 29, 2012

    “Sweet n sour: this draws the f*ckin limit” – killed me Sa’ed. thank you.

  51. Antoun Halabi · October 29, 2012

    Sarayafi I can’t believe you forgot the “Includes Pita bread”… Proud of you nonetheless 🙂

    • Sara El-Yafi · October 29, 2012

      Antoun Halabi, I noticed that a while back. It will go in the official letter. Thanks though 🙂

  52. Sam Wahab · October 29, 2012

    You should blog.

  53. Nayla Kaaki · October 29, 2012


  54. Shobi Ahmed · October 29, 2012

    The exact same “Israeli” food station has been showing up at the HLS International Fair for at least 5 years now. Get to the bottom of it Sara!

    • Sara El-Yafi · October 29, 2012

      Shobi, I had no idea! We will get to the bottom of this for sure!! 😉 Thanks for the share

      • Shobi Ahmed · October 29, 2012

        Oh, just occurred to me: might this be the same food that thousands of Levantine and North African Jews enjoyed for centuries before moving to Israel and continuing to cook it? Haha

  55. Nicolas Boukhalil · October 29, 2012

    Pitta bread is greek please! They can have north african heritage no prob

  56. Karim Saleh · October 29, 2012

    Hahahaha That’a really funny skit Sarah you should do that on stage in a stand up,I love well thought out bursts of FU’s specially coming from someone as attractive as you are makes it really sharp.

  57. Firas El Yafi · October 29, 2012

    crystal clear 🙂

  58. Ghassan Abdul Wahab · October 29, 2012


  59. Brendan G Goldman · October 29, 2012

    I know this is an incredibly complicated concept but fusion cuisine tends to be produced by immigrant societies, such as Israel and the United States, whose citizens are of diverse geographic origin and thus adapt the culinary traditions of their immigrants to create their “national” cuisine.
    There were Jews whose ancestors resided in every region you mentioned besides, perhaps, Cyprus, since before Arabic and Turkish were even spoken in those regions. (And by the way, the Cypriots are so terrified of Israeli occupation that they recently ratified a defense and military cooperation agreement with the Jewish state, which couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that half their island is already Turkish-occupied—thank you for my morning dose of unintended irony). And so, while the entire discussion of whether Harvard’s booth serves “authentic” Israeli cuisine is facile, the answer is yes: that food is as Israeli as the Creole dishes of Louisiana, or the “Tex-Mex” restaurants of the Southwest are American.

    • Rami Harawi · October 29, 2012

      Interesting how Brendan Goldman’s two examples of fusion cuisine from “migrant societies” involve: 1- the mass shipping and genocide of slaves from West Africa into the Caribbean and the Southern US. 2- One of the most contested and unequal borders in the world: Mexicans vs. Texans where Texans have the right to gun down migrant Mexicans like game… Couldn’t ask for any type of a more peaceful fusion of civilizations…. Fusion Food for thought…

    • Ali Halk · October 29, 2012

      Its ”an incredibly complicated concept” (fusion cuisine), on the difficulty scale, it must be somewhere between electromagnetism and thermodynamics.Everybody knows this.

    • Nejma Bouchama · October 29, 2012

      This is not fusion cuisine, fusion cuisine combines elements of different traditions and actually aknowledges the origine of each. Here there is no mix or fusion, here it is just blunt appropriation of culinary traditions of others. I understand these are all foods jews from all these different countries are used to cook and eat but it doesn’t mean it is Israeli. You eat many things in the States, doesn’t mean its american.

    • Toubia Farah · October 29, 2012

      And here I was thinking all they had on their menu was cluster bombs. Silly me.

    • Brendan G Goldman · October 29, 2012

      *Toubia—the word you were looking for was not “silly” but “bigoted” or “reductive”. Replace your implicit Israelis in “all [the Israelis] have on their menu was clusterbombs” with “Arabs” or “Palestinians”, and clusterbombs with suicide belts or qassam rockets, and that may become apparent.
      *Rami, you’re right, though I don’t think contemporary Mexican-Americans view themselves as any more “occupied” than Mizraḥi Jews in Israel. That said, take American Pizza (if you’ve been to Italy, I’m sure you know that it is the unique American manifestation of this Italian dish that has now reached a global market).
      *Ali, sarcasm. Perhaps not kind, but not an unreasonable reaction to bigotry.
      *Nejma, it is the combination of those discrete elements that is the manifestation of a fusion. And trust me, Israelis know that those foods are Moroccan, or Iraqi, or Tunisian—the plurality of Israelis descend from Jews of Arab origin, and they maintain their pride in their distinct dishes.

      • Toubia Farah · October 29, 2012

        Gee Brendan, I didn’t know the palestinians and the arabs invaded israel! I need to get my historical facts right. Damn.
        Now would like me to go over the weaponry menu used by the israeli army over the palestinians and the lebanese civilians, say for the past 30 years?

      • Rami Harawi · October 29, 2012

        Brendan, I enjoy mental jousting and you strike me as someone who does too. I appreciate that. But I enjoy it when it involves an openness to arguments on both sides. I’m not endorsing all the comments said in this whole chain, I’m not defending the reactionary outbursts. But in the end of the day, the willful migration societies into the US such as Italians, Irish, etc. was a migration of a people into a country (relatively) welcoming them, ready and able to absorb them into its system. Zionism was not that. The faster we can openly agree on this fact, the faster we can achieve a peaceful solution. I’m reading this very insightful book now, A Line In the Sand by James Barr. Declassified British and French documents allowed him to piece together with utmost detail the political, military, and social happenings of the 1910’s-onward in the Middle East. From Lawrence of Arabia, Feisal, Sykes, Picot, Balfour, and the zionist events. It’s a facts driven book… An interesting read to anyone on this chain.

  60. AlBustan Staff · October 29, 2012

    Food for thought!!

  61. Abbas Falasteen Hamideh · October 29, 2012

    LOL! israeli couscous 🙂

    • Nicole Mia Kopelow · October 29, 2012

      there was israeli couscous at my college cafeteria once. it was WHITE, lukewarm, watery, and flavorless.

      • Matt Graber · October 29, 2012

        hahaha I’m sure the chef had the family recipe passed through generations for thousands of years.

    • Nicole Mia Kopelow · October 29, 2012

      totally! i mean, the israelites did come from egypt right? *taps sarcasm mic* this thing on? lol lol i’m totally egyptian; i invented hummus, i invented couscous, i built the pyramids…

      • Matt Graber · October 29, 2012

        Wait I’m confused. Are you Israeli or Jewish?

      • Matt Graber · October 29, 2012

        AHHHHHHH!!!! I just googled “Is Boscht Israeli”, and Google told me that I searched for “Jewish”

        • Nicole Mia Kopelow · October 29, 2012

          OMG! *dies laughing*

        • Abbas Falasteen Hamideh · October 29, 2012

          What about “israeli jujitsu?” Aka Brazilian martial arts lol They don’t only steal from the Palestinians…

        • Matt Graber · October 29, 2012

          No wonder folks are so confused as to the whole anti-Zionism versus anti-Semitism stuff. If Google is telling folks that Jewish is the same as Israeli, then there’s a lot of ignorant folks out there.

        • Nicole Mia Kopelow · October 29, 2012

          look… yuppies and gentiles get confused, okay? it happens. i was 15, i got a tan, and a classmate asked me if i was egyptian. i was 21, i was dating a republican for 2 months, he told me i was israeli… have you ever eaten israeli manakeesh? it’s great… tastes like european colonial subjugation and cultural theft.

  62. Saad Samadi · October 29, 2012

    What Harvard Business School calls Israeli food is a cutthroat attack on Arab and Cypriot heritage and a complete and utter fabrication of false facts … What else has changed… ? Well done Sara … Can we forward and share to make this go viral ??????

  63. Nisreen Haj Ahmad · October 29, 2012

    very funny. thanks sara!

  64. Jamil Adi · October 29, 2012

    This is fantastic, thanks Sara El-Yafi

  65. Badawi Qawasmi · October 29, 2012

    Harvard enters the Hummus war with a ridiculous menu 🙂

  66. Mounir Maurice Doumani · October 29, 2012

    Good job Sara. Fantastic comment, rock solid!!!

  67. Soubra Ayman · October 29, 2012

    well said

  68. Hadi Kahil · October 29, 2012

    So well written…Worth sharing! Sara El-Yafi

  69. Maher Jallad · October 30, 2012

    Wow, it seems the “Israelis” are really lucky, they can claim Lebanese, Turkish, Moroccan, Tunisian, Russian, Greek, Chinese and 99% of the world’s culinary plates as Israeli. Brendan, nobody can run away from the truth, you could twist and turn all you want but the truth will always be there and until the rights of the Palestinians are given back there will be no peace. Zionism according to the holy books happens on the last day on earth, and it happens to all of the earth’s population, not today and only to Jews!

  70. Ahmad Hijazi · October 30, 2012


  71. Joumana El-Yafi · October 31, 2012

    strange they missed to include other Israeli dishes like tabouleh,falafel,chawarma,and the list is quite long and tasty worth stealing!Nothing surprising though,when you steal land,and steal land and continue to steal land,when you build houses on other peoples properties and claim it is your right,when you steal other peoples lives and hope and future,and the list is so long and long and long,stealing a hummus or zaatar or halloumi becomes so easy on you although it is still stealing…..

  72. Taufiq Rahim · October 31, 2012

    I just had a great Israeli meal here in Dubai with Hommus, Fattoush, Mutabel, Mashawi Mushakel, and Arayes! It was great and I didn’t even know it was all due to Teddy Herzl!

  73. Ghias El Yafi · October 31, 2012

    Well done guys. The war is not just in Palestine but also in the kitchen. By the way they are also trying to appropriate the “dabkeh” as national Israeli dance.

  74. Ahmed Abdel-Wahab · November 1, 2012

    Hi Sara, if you would like to solve this in a more constructive way, one of my classmates (from Israel) and I (from Egypt) are happy to meet you and together we can go and talk to the HBS dining services to sort this out (i.e. either plan a separate day for each country or just label it all as “Middle Eastern” / “Mediterranean”). Please let us know 🙂 Thanks.

  75. Dina Mehrez · November 1, 2012

    A few days ago, there was a very similar spread and it was indeed labeled “Middle Eastern.” I really appreciate the amount of research put into this, though..

  76. Rami Harawi · November 1, 2012

    Igal, my love, please don’t make that common mistake of placing all the jewish people under the umbrella of zionism. I think you would actually offend a large portion of jewish people that think a bit more rationally than you apparently do. If we feel Israel has done injustices to the world it does not mean we are anti-semitic. If we were to use your impressive logic, then in the 1990’s anyone that criticized South Africa’s apartheid system MUST have been anti-white.

  77. Ayman Hussein Abdelmoniem · November 2, 2012


  78. ‎لجين الحريري‎ · November 2, 2012

    اعطاه كيس من رمل فارس

  79. Ali Ahmed Mohamed Abdelmohsen · November 2, 2012

    الهرم بتاعنا كلنا

  80. Nashwa Ahmed · November 2, 2012

    Respect!! This is perfection!!

  81. Nashwa Ahmed · November 2, 2012

    To everyone trying to explain that it’s an Israelite food because Jews in North Africa made it: Israel is a nation, not a religion, and therefore being Jewish should have nothing condo with it. Whether or not Jews cooked it in NORTH AFRICA is irrelevant; it is still a north African dish.

  82. Leen Za · November 2, 2012

    I hope your sending a letter to whoever at Harvard and not letting it rest on fb

  83. Mohamed Noweir · November 2, 2012

    I don’t know you Sara, bas true respect, no one could have said it better !

  84. Samer Nazem · November 2, 2012

    Igal, you’re one very sad turkish cow. (No disrespect to cows).

  85. Lamia Loutfi · November 2, 2012

    With that same twisted argument and logic of justifying such act, Dubai and Emirati are the source of English Fish and Chips, English mufins,chineese food, american hotdog, french cuisine, indian curries,…lol

  86. Yousif Anni · November 2, 2012

    Racist bastards, they were monkey raised

  87. ‎سوسن مروة‎ · November 2, 2012

    مش جديد على قطّاع الطرق!

  88. Nadia Idle · November 2, 2012

    Damn right.

  89. Gina Raye · November 2, 2012


  90. Omar Hassaan AboSamra · November 2, 2012

    lol >> even food ..

  91. Hend Kheir Eldin · November 2, 2012

    Very well written remarks!

  92. Nirvana Atef Elsaied · November 2, 2012


  93. Dalia Mattar · November 2, 2012

    They forgot to add a dessert list : kol w eshkor and Om Ali. Give it a few generations and they will truly believe it.

  94. Merna El Bari · November 2, 2012

    wow, ultimate respect !

  95. Rania Salah Seddik · November 2, 2012

    I love that post 🙂 exactly 🙂 see CEU ppl why I didn’t like the Hummus bar, it was Israeli claiming all our food but actually there was even more Egyptian food than this one, they even have foul in hummus bar and this is actually beyond all limits, even our oldest neighbors can never claim foul. I love those who made this post. Israeli cultural theft has to stop, they can’t claim all the cultures of the places jews lived at coz Jews lived everywhere before Israel was announced a state. Diyana C. Yosifova Look DIDI we were just talking about one hour ago 🙂

    • Ayman Fadda · November 2, 2012

      عاشوا في اسبانيا فاكيد ال paella بتاعتهم.عاشوا في ايطاليا فاكيد ال pizza بتاعتهم عا شوا في تركيا فاكيد ال شاورمة بتاعتهم
      🙂 وعاشوا في روسيا فاكيد اشهر اكلة روسي بتاعتهم… انا عشان كده بحب السوشي

      • Rania Salah Seddik · November 2, 2012

        belzabt, yabni ana mara shoft 7aga ismha israel cook book w gowaaha koshry w molo7’eya w ta3mia 🙂

    • Marwa Habib · November 3, 2012

      Love it:)

  96. Youssef Amr Seif Eldin · November 2, 2012

    Simply A7A

  97. Adham Abdel-Salam · November 2, 2012

    So true… so wonderfully put

  98. Ahmed 'Samy · November 2, 2012

    Here is something educational…. read the whole story.

  99. Hend Hesham · November 2, 2012

    WTF! الحمص خط أحمر يا مزيفين

  100. Mo Tanamly · November 2, 2012

    Interestingly enough, there is nothing here that is not native to this region of the world.. except Israel itself of course… got invented in 1948..

    Interesting they are claiming food that predates them… as theirs 🙂

    Dudes… name the first person who ever made falafel… or the first one who served Fattoush

    incompetent BS …

  101. Shadi Gheith · November 2, 2012

    ='( ='( …………..لاااااااااااااااااااااااا كلو الا المزات يا ولاد ال

  102. Murad Kablan · November 2, 2012

    “Israel already has a hard time keeping face in the Arab world for the way it has “appropriated” its lands since 1948, don’t make it worse for them by having them appropriate other peoples’ foods as well” – Sara El-Yafi

  103. Tamer Abde · November 2, 2012


  104. Mohamed Ali · November 2, 2012

    بقى الكوسكسي والهريسة والطحينة والحمص والمزة -ترمس وخس- والزعتر أكل اسرائيلي !!!؟؟؟ ناقصين يقولوا ان بولاق الدكرور بتعتنا

  105. Won Jang · November 3, 2012

    – Just so you know, Mr. Harvard! 😉

  106. Areej Sultan Al-Essa · November 3, 2012

    “Dear HBS,(Harvard Business School) that “Israeli Mezze Station” is the ultimate multicultural, multireligious fuck-you in the face of ALL Arabs at once from North Africa to the Levant… (while engaging a small spit on the Cypriots)… NINE counts”. Sara El-Yafi. PLEASE Read the comment by Sara accompanying this post.

  107. Ahmed Hashim · November 3, 2012

    LOL !

  108. JF Andeel · November 3, 2012

    أنا عاجبني الدقة العلمية

    • Abdelrahman Hassanein · November 3, 2012

      !انا كنت فاكر انهم سرقوا الحمص والفلافل بس

    • Belal M. Hassan · November 3, 2012

      طحينه ، زعتر ، فتوش .. بجد ؟
      !ايموشن : تهامي باشا

  109. Ahmed Alaa El-Sherief · November 3, 2012

    Israel; stealing cultural legitimacy since 1948.

  110. Hassan Mahfouz · November 3, 2012

    z It’s 2012..almost 2013…. So why are we still debating and getting in long arguments weather the state of Israel is legit or not ? It is very clear that they are simply occupying the land of Palestine in the middle east… anything other than that is a waste of time and energy and has nothing to do with mental jousting at all… Simple… Zionism is NOT Judaism & Israel is not a country !

  111. Amr ElGabry · November 3, 2012

    I’m surprised they didn’t include Shakshouka in the menu… They did so at INSEAD business school

  112. Jad Monzer · November 3, 2012

    Homos was created by Lebanese, and we have a biggest plat of hommos in guiness book!

  113. Faisal Al-Zuhair · November 3, 2012

    Check this out, Why L. Sadeye!

  114. Tarek Shahin · November 3, 2012

    I advocate a return to 1967 menus.

  115. Saleh Dawabsheh · November 3, 2012

    Sara you’re a super star, i like all what u wrote,, amazing
    and Mohamed El Dahshan is a star too, his YLVP spirit makes him notice such things and take the action on the spot 🙂

  116. Helmy Mostafa · November 3, 2012

    Even some average Israelis, let alone objective experts, implicitly admit that it is Arab, their excuse is that they’re also Arabs! Best honest answer is at the end.

  117. Maan Abdelkader · November 3, 2012

    Impressive responses to each menu item. You’ve provided fact based rebuttals that anyone can use when the occasional hummus debate occurs. I’m curious, did you spend time researching these items or was this common knowledge to you?

  118. Mohanned Awad · November 3, 2012

    Brilliant. Sooner or later they might take credit for inventing football..

  119. Imad A Jawad · November 3, 2012

    I don’t really know who this woman is, or why is this post on my news feed.

    But I love you. You’re awesome.

  120. Saïd Chaitou · November 3, 2012

    Sorry bass yeklo khara and thank u for this

  121. Nawar Shora · November 3, 2012

    No shit!?! Well said. Now let them know.

  122. Omar J. Habib · November 3, 2012

    Thank you Sara !! Major Harvard Fail.

  123. Farah Shoucair · November 3, 2012


  124. Timothy E. Kaldas · November 3, 2012

    This is awesome. I remember when I studied Hebrew for a year my Israeli professor had a word of disappointment for many of the young and eager Zionist students in our class. She informed them that most foods Israelis referred to as “Israeli” were in fact Arab foods. It was fun watching an Israeli set the record straight but I have to say I’ve never seen anyone respond to this with such brilliant detail. Well done!

  125. Yousra K · November 3, 2012

    Sharing!!! Thumbs up Sara

  126. Maya Barbir · November 3, 2012

    Bravo Sara How to spread s the message ?am going to s hare

  127. Aziz Alqatami · November 3, 2012

    OMG Classic !!!!

  128. Rads Be · November 3, 2012

    But I think the price is right!

  129. Amir Saleh · November 3, 2012

    I agree! Classic!!!

  130. Heba El Habashy · November 3, 2012

    Also reminiscent of the fact that the predominant food in The Marais – Paris’s Jewish Quarter is “Falafel” (with Hummus of course).

  131. Abed Ayoub · November 3, 2012


  132. Hussein Ibish · November 3, 2012

    Typical. You see this all the time if you look.

  133. Abdulmohsen Alyas · November 3, 2012


  134. Saeed Halaby · November 3, 2012

    MEH!! .. sho we2fit 3alyhon? (ARABENGLISH)

  135. Dana Erekat · November 3, 2012

    I don’t know you, but I salute you and I hope you take this up with the Cafeteria management. Or you can suggest they make Cultural Appropriation 101 mandatory at Harvard.

  136. Salina Samir · November 3, 2012

    they do advertize these dishes as their own around the world, I well so that in Spain in different place as THE DELICACY OF ISRAEL , and it was FALAFEL !!! and in Amsterdam too . seeing that made me feel the blood rise, FOR HEAVENS SAKE EVEN FOOD, STEALING OUR TRADITIONS OF THAT!!COME ON, but to be honest one thing I should say you should be all talking about ABU MAZEN , and how should he be force to stand now the PIG who gave him the right I quote from A FRIEND OF MINE”…Abu Mazen is, of course, entitled to his opinion. He is also entitled to give up his inheritance, assuming he has some, and denounce his rights of return. It’s his personal choice. What he’s, categorically, not entitled to is to gift the historic lands of Palestine to our occupiers. Further more, your mandate, Abu Mazen, from the Palestinian people has expired. How dare you speak on our behalf? Your dare because you lost every modicum of dignity and honour. You dare because you, wrongly, assume that your brutal shameful security apparatus has snuffed out our will to resist. History and the Palestinian nation will judge you.
    The irony in all of this is that, Abu Mazen, uttered these disgraceful pronouncements on the eve of the 95th anniversary of the equally disgraceful Balfour declaration.
    My compatriots, our birth rights and the future of many Palestinian generations to come are in mortal danger. Time to engage.)

  137. Nasri Mukhar · November 3, 2012

    Wow!! Well said.

  138. Sarah Peerwani Farr · November 3, 2012

    I have never read anything so well written. Thank you.

  139. Wassim Mourtada · November 3, 2012

    What is this place “Harvard” you keep talking about?

  140. Joumana El-Yafi · November 3, 2012

    Hayati my Saroura,my darling,my soul,my amazing beautiful daughter! I am so so proud of you, of your eloquence,your deep culture,your sincerity,your shining mind,your care,your courage,your coming forward when you believe you should….you pinpoint and shed light on such important matters in and to our lives,you come forward and you do it with such refined and respectable way,you stop to talk about important matters where where most people, probably including me ,will just let it be,ignore or think what the hell!! !why should I care?why should I give it from my time and energy….?My darling ,contrary to most of us ,who either don’t care or pretend to care but don’t take action…. Or simply as one of your friends expressed it so well,most of us choose to stay in our confort zone not bothering,and we let the wrong stay,we even let it spread,even let it ramificate itself ,even let it become viral and a sickness…Because we didn’t dare ,didn’t have your courage ,the will or the energy to research,to come forward,to speak…..But you,you my darling you care,you stop and take time to tal…you research…you arm your arguments with true facts…You shed light on the wrong…fight for the right….You my darling,you bother to stop and give your thoughts, your energy and you create actions and reactions for what is right…. You truly make a difference my darling….I knew when you were born and grew into this fine big hearted ,beautiful,intelligent amazing young lady that you will be a larger than life human being ,and i know that you can ,and you are contributing to make the world a better place…..!!May God protect you,give you health,luck,strength,happiness and all what your heart wishes for yourself and I know wishes for your country Lebanon in particular and the whole world. in general…Hayati you are larger than life!I love you so so much and am so so proud of you,always and always and always….

    • Sara El-Yafi · November 3, 2012

      Love you Mom! 🙂 Well guess what, I get it all from you Mom (as for the looks, that’s all exclusively from Dad..)
      (PS: Mom! This is a public post in case you were aiming for my inbox instead! 🙂 🙂 )

      • Joumana El-Yafi · November 3, 2012

        Oops …What a scandal,it will reveal how novice I am with facebook:))) but it is ok!!!Whoever will bother to read what i wrote will probably only think”MOMS….!GOD HELP US…!!!” Love you my girl )))

  141. Omar J. Habib · November 3, 2012

    again – respect 🙂 especially to the “syrian arabic” bit 🙂 keep it up.

  142. Dina Al-Merhebi · November 3, 2012

    Applause 🙂

  143. Jinan Dalloul · November 3, 2012

    I wonder if the person who came up with the above selection actually went to Harvard.

  144. Haydar Azzouz · November 3, 2012

    yalla yalla, tell them this is akl aa’rabi, with a little drizzle of chinese hot and sour and cypriot cheese. Israeli dishes are too gross for us to claim.

  145. George Krikorian · November 3, 2012

    I am really amazed! BRAVO Sara! Allah ye-awwiki!

  146. Haydar Azzouz · November 3, 2012

    As far as i know, mloukhieh and kibbeh are still arabic, or does it say otherwise on the back of the menu?

  147. Haydar Azzouz · November 3, 2012

    OMAR OFFENDUM, you might enjoy reading this post.

  148. Christy Lilo Dinsay · November 3, 2012

    Haha nice owned

  149. Saeid Hejazi · November 3, 2012

    I usually avoid to comment on “popular” Facebook postings because of the barrage of notifications. But, this time… this time, Sara El-Yafi (who I’ve never met), just OWNED them.

    +1 for an unbiased, historically backed (without any evidence of absence), fact-based argument to refute every meal on that menu.

    As we like to say to all, sa7tain 3a albon.

  150. Muhanned Nassar · November 3, 2012


  151. Jad Hindy · November 3, 2012

    Next they will own churrasco!

  152. Bob Farah · November 3, 2012

    This is insane

  153. Michelle Pollock · November 3, 2012

    Israeli? Ah, no.

  154. Marius Emilijus · November 3, 2012


  155. Massoud A. Derhally · November 3, 2012

    see inbox Sara

  156. Khalil Waitforit Snobar · November 3, 2012


  157. Racha Tarazi · November 3, 2012

    Well said. I hope this was sent to the right people not just Facebook.

  158. Zak Nassar · November 3, 2012

    hahaha well said .. u have done ur research .. props

  159. Paul Awkar · November 3, 2012

    Wowww talking about a cultural smack in the face ..!!!!

  160. Fawwaz Abu-Ghazalah · November 3, 2012


  161. Tina Goussous · November 4, 2012

    Thank you for sharing!

  162. Ben White · November 4, 2012

    Come now, don’t be so extreme. In fact, let’s dialogue about our differences over some of that Israeli hummus.

  163. Jonathan Daou · November 4, 2012

    Clearly you have not heard that they refer to their national spirit as Israeli “Arak” either .

  164. Monika Halkort · November 4, 2012

    as i said – the stuggle need to be fought on the level of copyright : )

  165. Farid Nassar · November 4, 2012

    Braaavo!! But what about the Pita bread!?! Or did they take
    That too?

  166. Nick Jensen-Thomas · November 4, 2012


  167. Judy Barrage · November 4, 2012

    Well said!!! Nobody touch my homms 🙂

  168. Espana Tapas Bar · November 4, 2012

    Culinary colonialism !!

  169. Jessy S · November 4, 2012

    i dunno y everyone is so surprised… i would have thought ppl would have gotten use to the ” we claim whatever we want” attitude …. i’m sure nooo one will notice. shoo wa2afit 3alla hummus?

  170. Zeina Hajj Ibrahim · November 4, 2012

    I really want a halloumi sandwich now.

  171. Aya Elwadia · November 4, 2012

    Amazing, truly well documented!!

  172. Racha Mustapha · November 4, 2012

    Hahaha good one!

  173. Sami Hage · November 4, 2012

    Impressive , and this is harvard buisness school … Sara El-Yafi thumbs up , u just made my day !

  174. Nagham Akileh · November 4, 2012

    that’s pretty fucked up. Did they change it?

  175. Nariman S. Hamadeh · November 4, 2012

    Diala Haidar, I think you will enjoy this read, and the various posts herein.

  176. Raphael Andonian · November 4, 2012

    “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” (none-other than A. Hitler)… this reminded me of a funny occurrence years ago… in 2005, Turkey said it is changing the names of three animals found on its territory to remove references to Kurdistan or Armenia… I think some ill-minded strategies are still in use…

  177. Alaa Abu Obeid · November 4, 2012

    well said! well done!

  178. Sam Akram · November 4, 2012

    Couldn’t have put it better myself – well said!!

  179. Maysa Zureikat · November 4, 2012

    Great one. But he forgot to mention that both hummus and fattoush are lebanese 😉

  180. Karri Vuori · November 4, 2012

    Oh come on, as the Middle East/Maghreb/Meditteranean is a pretty culturally, socially and religiously homogeneous region, surely we can just Israel as an appropriate proxy…

  181. Ali Saklawi · November 4, 2012


  182. Mustafa Mk · November 4, 2012

    BRAVO !

  183. Talal Hassan · November 4, 2012

    its Israeli advertising and marketing

  184. Ahmed Habib · November 4, 2012


  185. Hamzah Nassif · November 4, 2012

    lol, awesome!

  186. Jenine Sharabi · November 4, 2012

    so did they take it down yet?

  187. Ali Dika · November 4, 2012

    With a sprinkle of phosphorus ♥

  188. La Moda Arabia · November 4, 2012

    The forgot their main dishes: kabsa, briani, sushi, kimci, lasagna, waffles, mfa6a7, tajeen 🙂 everything is theirs..

  189. Alex Stein · November 4, 2012

    Because obviously no Jews from the Middle East ate these foods; they were too busy eating chulent. Always fascinating to see how cultural imperialism comes in many forms.

  190. Maye Ostowani · November 4, 2012


  191. Philippe Coumine · November 4, 2012

    Great documentation. Nevertheless not surprised that harvard would do such a false menu. Shame on you harvard

  192. Samar Alami · November 4, 2012

    very very well written 🙂 LOVE IT

  193. Irish El Alexandrian · November 4, 2012

    I don’t know the person who went to gret lengths to find out the roots/origins of the words and where spices grow! I have to commend them for their articulate writing, efforts and educating the public… They have also tried to calim Hawawshi in the past too… In truth if you look at some of the ‘jewish’ dishes I can understand why they would want to try and claim these for themselves…. It’s bland in comparison. Chapeau!!

  194. Yumna Mohamed · November 4, 2012

    Clearly colonization is an art that goes far beyond occupying land.

  195. Corinne Schneider · November 4, 2012

    Ya Sara. Shukran. Bass 🙂

  196. Yara Zeitoun · November 4, 2012

    Excellent, I love this, and I couldn’t agree more.

  197. Baback Hamid · November 4, 2012

    This needs an A plus!

  198. Rola Makki · November 4, 2012

    Israel : known to colonize land, now colonizing food!!

  199. Mohamad Sanioura · November 4, 2012

    its all lebanese station food …how stupid you can be

  200. Dalal Moussly Abou-Nayef · November 4, 2012

    Hell yeah! Finally!!!

  201. Rime Allaf · November 4, 2012


  202. Chris Yeh · November 4, 2012

    Knowing HBS, I’m sure that someone from the administration has already fired off a scorching email to whichever food service company runs that cafeteria. Remember, schools don’t operate their own food service in most cases.

  203. Suzy Beidoun · November 4, 2012

    wow… more than Excellent. “Chapeau”… thats French ( so credit goes to France) or Bravo… or Hats off (English) thumbs Up… Sara AL Yafi

  204. Karl Rihan · November 4, 2012


  205. Roula Alaama · November 4, 2012

    Really? even take our food, come on!

  206. Farid Comaty · November 4, 2012

    Thank you very much Sara for doing research and responding to such a post that would outrage any of us but we would turn the page on the next day like your mom said it. It should be phrased Mediteranean Mezze Station. Full Stop! If we want to have peace one day in our region, it will come through Educated People: Educated Arabs and Educated Israelies that sit and discuss what is the identity of an Israelian, what is our history, how can we move forward and recognize and respect each other, first by not self appropriating culinary traditions of others! Sara you should definitely publish it

  207. Diana Rafeh · November 4, 2012

    Israel has NO land, so they had to steal one; and they have NO cuisine so they had to steal one….next step, I would suggest, they should steal some values, coz they don’t have any!

  208. Irene B. · November 4, 2012

    Thanks for not taking this for granted…open your eyes ppl!

  209. Zeina Saab · November 4, 2012

    Ahhh just noticed, you forgot the PITA BREAD too!! :p

  210. Reine Fallaha · November 4, 2012

    3anjed !!!! Really :/ ….!!!??? Koumet el istifzaz

  211. Ghina Bazzi · November 4, 2012

    The truth is in the taste.. so let us all relax and let them have some fun trying..

  212. Amer Jwehan · November 4, 2012

    small comment though: “halloumi” the word itself is arabic. maybe worth mentioning? 😉

  213. Alex Azzi · November 4, 2012

    Brilliant… Hope Fox News picks this one up 😀

  214. Shermeen Zeidan Seif · November 4, 2012

    3anjAd…..shocking once again….they have no shame

  215. Adonis Rashid · November 4, 2012

    I thing this is the best read i have ever had since i was 14 reading the funny in Playboy.

  216. Roula Assi · November 4, 2012

    Smart Sara 🙂

  217. Anan Habeeb · November 4, 2012

    Well! If this is Harvard, what should we expect from community colleges?! (With all my respect to community colleges of course)…

  218. Ziad Kamel · November 4, 2012

    Nice menu breakdown. Spot on!

  219. Anthony Stal · November 4, 2012

    Haha this is hilarious

  220. Ranim Talih · November 4, 2012

    excellent. expanded my knowledge of food.

  221. Mirna Mallak Okeili · November 4, 2012

    Beautiful!!! Love it!! Love u

  222. Alan A. Abdo · November 4, 2012

    Hahahahahahah well said! As the Owner of the Olive Tree Restaurant which is a Palestinian Restaurant in Anahiem’s Little Arabia I approve this Message! 🙂 I’m no Harvard Grad but sounds like they need a history lesson.

  223. Jad Kharma · November 4, 2012

    Some ppl just have too much time on their hands

  224. Ara M. Peltekian · November 4, 2012

    There’s nothing funny, If as few as three Arab Politicians were putting up a fight half as decent as this Lady is doing, we’d all be living in a Better Place….

  225. Katherine Metres · November 4, 2012

    LOL. You tell ’em, Sara!

  226. Rasheed Jalloul · November 4, 2012

    fashayteele khil2e

  227. Nasser Al- Ansari · November 4, 2012

    Im literally in tearssss ahahahahaha

  228. Sara AS · November 4, 2012

    Mirvat Ghandour see this

  229. Jad Räd · November 4, 2012

    Cultural apropriation is a bitch !!!

  230. Abed Jrab · November 4, 2012

    Well said…

  231. Lea Daoura · November 5, 2012

    lol ! WALAWWW

  232. Lara G. Fahs · November 5, 2012

    Yeslamm temmik!!!! This is going wayyyy to far & should stop!! Stealings lands & culture too!!!

  233. Mayah Haidar · November 5, 2012

    Lol can’t believe it.

  234. Zena Sfeir · November 5, 2012

    Well said!!

  235. Danny Anas Kaysi · November 5, 2012

    Actually what they call Israeli Cous Cous is Moghrabieh and it’s quite frustrating that the only store in my town to carry moghrabieh calls it Israeli Cous Cous (which means I won’t be making my specialty any time soon).

  236. Joy Majdalani Habib · November 5, 2012


  237. Danielle Khaïrallah · November 5, 2012

    *sigh* even harvard has idiots.

  238. Samir Bazian · November 5, 2012


  239. Ahd Abu Ghazal · November 5, 2012

    Woww great argument

  240. Rola Baasiri · November 5, 2012

    Very well said
    Eat this

  241. Hanin Majadli · November 5, 2012

    i wanted to write in Arabic ” Yee a’ala Allaah” which is the Arab equivalent of ” Holy shit” , but in Tel Aviv university which is the university of 3000 arabic palestinian tongue speakers, there is no Arabic keyboard
    beside to the Israeli Labni they sell in the stalls in the campus !!

  242. Suad Saher Lakišić Bushnaq · November 5, 2012

    Did someone or is someone willing to start a petition against this absurdity? Didn’t read previous comments but please let me know! Harvard must get their facts straight and the argument given in the description of this photo is excellent and works as good content for a petition.

  243. Tarek Matar · November 5, 2012

    Stolen land, stolen culture, stolen cuisine

  244. Mira Minkara · November 5, 2012

    hahahaha good girl !!!

  245. Zeid Tawil · November 5, 2012

    hahaahhahahahahahahaha….brilliant..well done !!

  246. Racha Adib · November 5, 2012

    Very well said!

  247. Rudy Hage · November 5, 2012

    Israel’s highway robbery continues. Someone should educate Harvard.

  248. Chadi Bou Habib · November 5, 2012

    Ok, what’s the point? HBS is spitting on Arabs, this is uggly for sure, but it is not by any mean worse than having Israeli embassies in Cairo and Amman, formal (and informal) relations between Israel and some other Arab countries, dozens of American military bases all over the Gulf… Guys, you are making a big fuss about the kitchen while we have lost contol of the bedroom … Humus is Arabic, Hurray! I wish we could say it with the same pride about some technological breakthroughs, recent ones not those of the first millennium …

    • Zeid Tawil · November 5, 2012

      @Chadi…though what you touched on is indeed true, i think, with all due respect, ur missing the point of this post………… is not that getting Humus acknowledged as “arabic” makes us happy….it’s Zionists relentless efforts to marginalize us arabs and palest – and in the process, solidify their own identity – is what is utterly sickening and drive, me personally, fkg crazy :)…………also…this rant u have to admit was brilliantly funny and well articulated…thanks @Sara

      • Chadi Bou Habib · November 6, 2012

        @ Zeid … I should have said that I liked Sara’s post … but my point is exactly what you have highlighted: Zionists are marginalizing Arabs and whatever funny and well articulated, Sara’s post is just a small drop in the ocean of our defeats and deceptions. Look at it this way: Israelis have invented Lotus Notes and we are defending our beloved Humus. Much effort is needed for us to change ourselves and our societies before beeing able to stand for our rights and break the spiral of defeat and marginalization.

  249. Karim Chammas · November 5, 2012


  250. Zeid Kawar · November 6, 2012

    I think u should attach a hard copy of ur post to the menu itself…

  251. Karim Al-Dahdah · November 6, 2012

    it should be named “Middle Eastern Station”

  252. Ismail Mahdi Taher AlHusseini · November 6, 2012

    Bravo. If you do not stand up to them at every little incident, they will take us over by default.

  253. Sylvain Eid · November 6, 2012

    share share share

  254. Aalaa Nader Nada · November 6, 2012


  255. Mariam Jaja · November 6, 2012

    great! can you send this to someone responsible there and show them how this has gone viral?

  256. Toufic J Nassar · November 6, 2012

    Brilliant. Well done.

  257. Hiam Feghali · November 6, 2012

    even with food want to occupied ours

  258. Lamiaa Soliman · November 6, 2012

    For everyone that has shared and commented on this post; while I agree that I did not like seeing this title on the food stand, I have tried bringing it to the attention of Harvard Business School’s administration. I was informed that the school was totally oblivious to this. The school outsources catering services to a company with the name of “Restaurant Associates” which the school had engaged with for a long time. The school is now looking into a way to rectify the situation in a way that is not offensive to anyone. They will be giving feedback on the matter to Restaurant Associates. After talking to some of the other Arab students here at HBS too, some of us felt that the best way to rectify would be to have another food stand in the very near future with the label “Middle Eastern food”. I believe that it is important to distinguish between this being a mistake, or a problem with a food supplier versus it being a message that the school is trying to make. As an Arab attending the school, I have seen nothing so far that has made me feel that I am marginalized as an Arab. I would appreciate it if people were to differentiate between the grand politics and this matter – because as I am sure you are all aware, this is a precarious topic that can be exacerbated by such a stand, but cannot be positively resolved in any form in this way.

    • Manal Moukaddem · November 7, 2012

      Thank you Lamiaa for getting to the heart of the matter. Although anger may stimulate some sort of action, misdirected anger is simply a crutch in any problem solving.

  259. Ramez Baddour · November 7, 2012

    Well said !

  260. Rita Obeid · November 7, 2012


  261. Sarya Abi-habib · November 7, 2012

    hmmm and here Im thinking that zaatar harissa fattoush haloumi are lebanese!!

  262. Mahdi AlHusseini · November 8, 2012

    seems harvard education isnt that much factual 🙁

  263. David Schimmel · November 8, 2012

    Let’s add terrorism, murder and the Hezbollah freedom fighters to the menu. At least that way it’ll be The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth….. And you’re worried about food?

    • Maher Jallad · November 11, 2012

      The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth is that Israel is the biggest terrorist on Earth. It is also the most artificial place where even fashion and cuisine have to be misrepresented. That’s the truth, and the immigrants that have been moving to Palestine won’t live in peace until they give back the rights they took and learn how to share, care and lead a humble life.

  264. Joseph Moussa · November 9, 2012

    100% Lebanese Food

  265. Rana Panuk · November 10, 2012

    Shocking that this is Harvard – I would expect the top institutions to at least get it right.

  266. Elise Finan · November 11, 2012

    Very well said 🙂 i’m sharing

  267. Magnus Frank · November 11, 2012

    Jews come from all Arab countries, Miss…

    • Nawar Nohra · November 11, 2012

      The post is very clear and does not mention JEWS anywhere… it does though clearly say ISRAELIE 🙂 and no Israelies do not come from ANY arab countries.

      • Magnus Frank · November 13, 2012

        My neighbours are born i morgen Yemen and Morocco… And no, they didn’t leave voluntary, and no, they didn’t stop making Yemenite and Moroccan food just because they moved from one of desert to another.

      • Magnus Frank · November 13, 2012

        Born in*

        • Maher Jallad · November 13, 2012

          The fact is that their dishes are Moroccan and Yemeni, not Israeli.

          • Magnus Frank · November 14, 2012

            Half of Israel is Arabic… What’s your Arabs’ problem? Maybe you would be more prosperous if you didn’t spend so much time on hating. Just a thought.

        • Fouad Dajani · November 14, 2012

          Magnus, chilllll habibi…. go fix yourslef an Israeli shwarma with a side of Israeli humus and Israeli cous cous…. that should calm you down 😉 :*

  268. Tarek Zeidan · November 14, 2012

    How is it POSSIBLE i just saw this post and all the brouhaha??!?!?!?! Sara walaw next time rally the troops before you singlehandedly charge at the Israeli culinary brigade. ba7ibbik

  269. Lama Ounsi · November 14, 2012

    Thank you thank you thank you…

  270. Rita Chn · November 14, 2012

    Just Bravoooooooo!!!!!!

  271. Sa'ed Adel Atshan · November 14, 2012

    so proud of you Sara El-Yafi! xoxo

  272. Ramin Minai Movafaghi · November 14, 2012

    this is amazing!

  273. Joe Gemayel · November 15, 2012

    Made my day!

  274. Jihad Beydoun · November 15, 2012

    nice one sara 😀 well written !

  275. Ramez Maluf · November 15, 2012

    I didnt get it. This was at Harvard? That dumb? Good thing I went to Duke

  276. Razan Habboub-Reed · November 15, 2012

    Hats off to you! Beautiful. Love it!!!!

  277. Amer Maktabi · November 15, 2012

    Well said!
    Go sarah!

  278. Danny Karam · November 15, 2012

    Well said! Love it

  279. Rasha Tomaira · November 15, 2012

    Amazing..the world needs more people like u to set an example

  280. Joe Khoury · November 15, 2012


  281. Suzana Nasr Awad · November 15, 2012

    Love it! Amazing words! You go girl !

  282. Maria El Mayan · November 16, 2012

    Lamis Ismail see this

  283. Lama Lawand · November 17, 2012

    gogogogogogogogogo beat their butts girl

  284. Samar Hilal Nsouli · November 17, 2012

    Like ,like and what about the falamel 🙂

  285. Hadi El-Khoury · November 17, 2012

    Bravo! Very bold! Keep it up!

  286. Ghadi Aouad · November 18, 2012

    you rock.

  287. Ml Hood · November 18, 2012

    you don’t have couscous in Libya. Couscous stops in Tunisia. This said, you rock.

  288. Lexi Shultz · November 21, 2012


  289. Mounzer Al Akhras · November 26, 2012

    Brilliant, haven’t enjoyed an argument in defence of Arabs as much as I enjoyed yours and your way of writing!

  290. Sara El-Yafi · December 5, 2012

    Dear friends,
    On October 28th 2012, I wrote this post about an Israeli Mezze Station Menu at the Harvard Business School dining room that I was not very happy about. It turns out I wasn’t alone. Within three weeks, the post was shared 3,800 times, was liked 5,400+ times and made its way into newspapers. It was the kind virulence of your likes and shares, as well as the respectful way that everybody connected with their humor and frustration, that has caught the attention of the key people. As a result, Harvard Business School gave an official, gracious response expressing their trouble at the offense they have caused claiming that they “didn’t do enough to verify the the accuracy of the Israeli Mezze station menu.” And that [we] “correctly called [them] on it.” Adding that “the fact that [they] offended people is deeply troubling, particularly considering that [their] reason for having the international buffets each day is to celebrate cultural diversity.”

    I am so proud of the amount of importance this has garnered because although the virulence is rooted in frustration, it has not manifested itself in brutality. In fact, quite the opposite. It has manifested itself as a humorous wave of frustration. And let’s face it, it is rare for the spotlight to be given to Arabs without some explosives in the background. Maybe the news channels have to start coming into our kitchens more often. “Look, no bombs. We are just fanning our zaatar.”

    Other than adhering to their honorable ethics and values, I believe what made Harvard Business School respond so well to the post was the positivity and the unanimity of the Arab voice. I am sure that it is this unified, respectful voice that went this far… If only we can keep going further and further with it, I believe that all the stigmas we hold about each other will be let down once and for all, and finally make way for constructive livelihood in the Middle East where everybody can live their life with full integrity and honor every single day, and treat every single life with the same integrity and honor no matter what the situation may be.

    Thank you once again for all your fantastic comments, your magnificent humor and your respectful active demeanor. You are really amazing.

    If you would like to read about the follow up posts (there are two of them) please visit my page:

    I look forward to seeing you there.

  291. Rasha Suleiman · December 16, 2012

    you’re amazing! really! well done

  292. Ahlam Mohammed · March 19, 2013

    Mashallah!!! Very proud lol @sweet and sour people are so ignorant wallahy this is disturbing for Harvard.

  293. Mohammed Ezzeldin · May 30, 2013

    Settler-Colonial Mezze … ironically enough, they don’t even believe in the two-cuisine solution!

  294. Saker Abdelsadik Helal · May 30, 2013

    land history food and … What else ?

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