tv The Next List CNN December 22, 2013 11:30pm-12:01am PST
palestine. ♪ >> you can almost believe for a minute or two that some kind of peace, some kind of reconciliation, meeting of the minds, sanity is possible after you visit majda. it's a restaurant in what looks like an idyllic village in the judean hills. about 20 minutes from jerusalem. it feels like an alternate universe for a number of reasons. one of these women is jewish. one is muslim, from a nearby village. they're partners, co-owners of majda, and also married. they're unsurprisingly friends of yotan. together they grow and raise much of what's used in their kitchen.
their food reflects both their different backgrounds and their commonalities. >> we're going to spoil you now. >> yeah, here you go. tell me about this. >> so you grew up in this town. >> yes, in this village. >> where did you grow up? >> near the beach. >> near the beach. not the neighborhood. >> but we met in the neighborhood. we work together in hotel. >> how did that go down with the families? >> now wonderful. >> in the beginning, not so much. >> started with a lot of questions. understand that we love each other and they can do nothing, so we continue and they support us. >> this is your special fried eggs sunny side up.
>> this is your special farm eggs. >> farm eggs. >> peppers from your garden? tomato. that looks awesome beyond words. >> it is incredibly beautiful here. i don't know why i didn't expect that. >> a lot of people come and say it's like provence, it's like italy. we say no. it's -- >> you like it? >> i do. roasted tomatoes, okra. >> onion and mint. that's all it is. what they do a lot here is just char the hell out of it. so it's really smoky just from being in the pan on very high heat. >> so generally speaking, who lives in this area? mostly arab -- ethnically arab in this particular town? >> only muslim. >> i'm the only jewish in the village.
>> and this? >> zucchini that's been grilled. then we use fried yogurt, so that's the sauce. that intense kind of goat flavor. very typical for palestinian cooking. >> it's good. >> i just had this incredibly delicious meal completely oblivious to the fact that it's entirely vegetarian. if any of the vegetarian restaurants in new york served food that tasted like this, i would actually go there. i'd consider it. fresh zucchini with mint. >> and little sweet apricots. >> this food is really intensely delicious. are you hopeful? >> of course. i have my children. i need to say that.
>> i respect her religion. she respect my religion, my family. together we can build something for our kids, our future country. that's what we think and that's what we give the message for our customers. >> part of the attraction of this restaurant part of the fact that it actually manages to do what not so many chefs try to do here and that is sort of mix the jewish and ethnic or background with arab food. isn't a thing ? it's lots of things. all waking up. connecting to the global phenomenon we call the internet of everything. ♪ it's going to be amazing. and exciting. and maybe, most remarkably, not that far away. we're going to wake the world up. and watch, with eyes wide, as it gets to work. cisco. tomorrow starts here.
most surreal travel experiences you could have on earth. over 1.5 million people live in gaza. most of them considered refugees. meaning they're not from the place they're compelled to live now. in most cases, they're either prohibited from or unable to leave. israel decides who comes and goes. what gets in and what stays out. apart from journalists, aid workers, emergency responders, very few people are allowed to cross into gaza. in 2005, the israeli defense forces left the gaza strip and all israeli settlers were removed. now inside gaza, hamas is in charge. considered a terrorist organization by both the united states and israel, they got elected in 2006.
this is laila hadan, a native gazan, journalist and author of "the gaza kitchen." >> the catches are not as big as they used to be and that's primarily because the fishermen can't go beyond three to six nautical miles. >> if you go beyond, what happens? >> they'll shoot at the fishermen, destroy their boats, cut their fishing nets, they'll detain them. it's obviously really risky business. nine nautical miles, that's where that deep sea channel is where you're going to get the really good catches. gaza is the last palestinian area with access to the coast. that's really important to remember. you have the west bank just an hour away, but many of the palestinians there have never seen the sea, have never been to the sea.
>> the family owns a small farm in the eastern gaza strip. she and her husband are unusual in that they cook together. this is not typical in this part of the world or in this culture. they use their own fresh-killed chickens to make the gazan classic. the traditional palestinian dish comprised of layers of fried eggplant, tomato, potatoes, carmelized onions, and chicken sauteed then simmered in a broth with nutmeg, sin mom, cardamom and rice. it's a big family. children, grandchildren all living under the same roof, and it can get chaotic. so let's talk about food and eat food. it's just sitting here.
tell me what do we have here? >> yeah, yeah, sure. >> this is called mahmouba. traditionally lamb, in this case chicken. [ speaking foreign language ]. they're very concerned that we're being very rude. we're not allowing the others to eat. he says how can you be eating and you -- >> wow. >> for me, being from gaza, being a child of diaspara, i always thought food was an interesting way to tell the palestinian story. being able to discover this lost history, this palestinian past. plus, the food is really dang good. >> that it is. >> i think it was also important to be able to provide palestinians an image of themselves that they recognize, a very humane image, because all they're seeing in the media, whether here or there, whether on arabic channels or abroad, you know, is this kind of very caricatured images of gunned men
and wailing women and this grim cinder block landscape. you're not entering into the private homes. what does a kitchen look like, or what does a family you see here. do you like it, she's asking? >> absolutely delicious. really, really good. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> yeah? she wants you to open a restaurant for her. >> keep cooking like this. it's really delicious. >> gaza has three distinctive culinary heritage. those who hail from villages that were either depopulated or destroyed in 1948. and they constitute about 75% of the population of gaza. and they kind of bring with them their own distinct cuisine. that's very different from the cuisine of the city, gaza city, which tends to use much more heat, much more chili peppers, from the cuisine of the coast,
which is rich with seafood, of course, and a very sophisticated, very urbane cuisine. >> i guess the first question would be, in your lifetime, will will you be able to visit yafa? [ speaking foreign language ]. >> she says she hopes she can. she also hopes she can go to jerusalem as well. so she's optimistic. [ speaking foreign language ]. she's saying -- first she said you're not allowing us to. then corrected and said the israelis aren't allowing us. >> go, go. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> this is a normal tone of voice. not upset, by the way. this is how we talk. we yell. >> what's he saying? >> give me a permit.
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laila's got something to show me. a watermelon salad she discovered on her recent trip here that's really piqued her interest. so off we go. i figure this will take a minute. we arrive at what looks like a pretty serious gathering. this is a duwan, and we're soon joined by her husband abu. >> it's an area where the elders gather to, you know, resolve community problems, to kind of advise. >> all these guys are originally from an area now part of israel, so they're bound together by traditions and a way of life very different from here, where they've been relocated and lived since 1948. does he think he'll be able to go to his ancestral homeland in his lifetime, his children's lifetime? what's his guess?
>> it's preordained. >> the enemy back me. please kill him. and we understand that. we hope, my son, my daughter. >> so what they're making now -- it's basically baby watermelon, underripe watermelon. this is kind of a speciality of southern gaza generally but also sinai. it's usually something that's made specifically by men, i was told here. so they begin by -- you can see over there, roasting the baby watermelons. they cover them with aluminum foil. they put them through a wire, kind of like a rustic skewer. and then they just throw them in there. and the idea is that they take the pulp out, so that's what's going on.
and then what they do while that's fire roasting is they knead an unleavened dough over there with whole wheat, barley, plenty of rich, extra virgin olive oil. and then they throw that into the pit as well, or they dig a pit in the sand over there. and that's fire baked. >> right in the coals? >> yep. and they mix that all together. so it's interesting. because right now, we're about, what, 35 minutes away from gaza city. ask anyone in gaza city if they've heard of this dish and, no. so even in an area as small as gaza, you see this very wide variation. they're going to clean it up. ♪
>> many, if not most of these guys, are not too sympathetic to my country or my ethnicity, i'm guessing. but there's that hospitality thing. anywhere you go in the muslim world, it seems. no matter what, you feed your guests, you do your best to make them feel at home. >> we have to eat. [ speaking foreign language ]. you're supposed to eat this with your hands. mm, very good. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> he's saying if you eat this, you shouldn't have another meal for three days. >> where does this dish come from? >> this is a dish that's native to southern gaza, the sinai,
sort of the desert bedouin areas. >> all the food i've had so far in gaza has been very different than in anything else i've had in the arab world. different flavor spectrum. >> totally. it's kind of it's own little gastronomical bubble. >> why are you not using a spoon? >> i find that the food has a more flavor. i get a better sensory experience. they have children, and they like to eat with their hands. he's saying god gave us hands to eat with, not spoons. (vo) you are a business pro. seeker of the sublime. you can separate runway ridiculousness... from fashion that flies off the shelves. and you...rent from national. because only national lets you choose any car in the aisle... and go. you can even take a full-size or above, and still pay the
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one can be forgiven for thinking, when you see how similar they are, the two peoples, both of them cook with pride, eat with passion, love their kids, love the land in which they live or the land they dream of returning to, who live so close, who are locked in such an intimate, if deadly embrace might somehow, some day, figure out how to live with each other. but that would be very mushy thinking indeed. those things in the end probably
don't count for much at all. gatan galkowitz runs a restaurant just seven miles from the gaza strip. you and your family have paid the worst imaginable price. >> yes. my daughter was killed by a mortar sent by hamas. >> in some israeli towns and villages within close proximity of the gaza strip, bus stops double as bomb shelters and air raid sirens warn of incoming missiles fired from less than a mile away. rockets and mortar shells have been known to fall from the sky in these parts and no one understands the consequences more than this man. you were not a fervent zionist. >> no. >> you were not an orthodox jew. >> no. >> and yet here you are, at the spear point, right at the dip. there's your restaurant. here's a shelter.
>> this is a shelter. >> here you are. >> after the death of my daughter, i just start to talk, to whom? to people who want to listen. i know that my daughter was killed for no reason and i know that people on the other side have been killed for no reason. childrens, old people. i have been a soldier in gaza. i saw very poor people. i know there is interest in keeping these poor people. you can go far, far, but the bottom line is, let's stop with the suffering. >> you know, i went to this settlement community. >> nice people. >> and i said to you, you know, they were nice. and you said, you said, you said, they're all nice. >> they're all nice. i know, nice, very nice palestinian people. >> they're all nice, but if you
scratch, if you push, they all want -- they'll all say, throw them in the sea. >> most of the people, they don't talk. they are very upset. they are fed up. and the same goes from the other side to us. you have to find the right people on both village, also on the down, also on the up, and maybe they talk. and i am sure that is possible. >> the opportunities to do that here are very, very, very limited, it seemed. >> i agree. >> and i mean, one doesn't even have to speak metaphorically, because there is an actual wall. >> that is a wall. >> or a fence, depending on who you're talking to. >> fence or wall.
no, it's a big wall. it's ugly. it's really ugly. you can see it, it's not far away from here. tonight on "back to the beginning," did the exodus happen? >> can we see the ark of the covenant? >> soon, the world as we know it will come to an end. >> come with us as we continue our epic journey around the world and across time, as a war correspondent who has seen everything that tears us apart -- >> christiane amanpour in israel. >> searches for what unites us. >> christianity, judaism, and islam have so much in common. >> the danger is real and so are