Thanksgiving comes to Jerusalem, and I am beside myself with preparations for the feast. Onions sizzle, garlic roasts, chickens brine, and cranberries boil. The windows steam with contented warmth, and aromas crowd around the doorframes. A pan sizzles with crisping chicken skin, a soup bubbles slowly as vegetables melt into the broth. I am in heaven.
Last week I was in a Moroccan restaurant in Seattle and had a unique experience: The very nice Palestinian man who ran the restaurant started speaking to me in his Shammi (Eastern) Arabic, and I responded in my good Moroccan Darija over mint tea and cookies. He was shocked to hear a non-Arab speak Arabic in a proper dialect, and when I told him I was Russian he said “No, no it can’t be! Arab blood runs in your veins!”