Arab Food Festival in Haifa serves up coexistence

Haifa, Israel — It’s hard to believe that nobody ever thought of this before — silky hummus topped by pulled barbecued beef that falls off the fork (or the pita, as the case may be.) The host is Marun Issa, a long-time Arab restauranteur, in his hole-in-the-wall hummus joint, a Haifa icon, called Abu Marun’s. “It’s slow-cooked short ribs on top of Abu Marun’s hummus,” Israeli chef Mattan Abrahams told The Media Line. “It’s American Southern comfort food meets Arabic breakfast comfort food.”

It’s also Jewish chef meets Arab chef as part of the Al-Sham festival in downtown Haifa, an Arab food festival which pairs Jewish and Arab chefs together to offer modern takes on traditional Arab recipes. Last year, 40,000 Israelis attended the festival and this year organizers are hoping for even more.


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