Thursday, May 29, 2008

From Mlouquiya to Jesus

One of our team members in Jordan tells about a couple of recent visits she had with friends. For more about grape leaves and mlouquiya see the note at the end.

I went to visit an old friend and found her sitting with her friends and neighbors rolling grape leaves on the porch. I sat and visited with them for a while and then my friend asked me and another friend to go inside to eat mlouquiya ( greens). So we were sitting and eating and soon got into a conversation about life. I was able to share with her. This is one of many experiences I have had as I spend time with old friends who are also “People of Peace” and always have lots of visitors and family in their homes.

I was also invited to visit a new student’s family that lives in the Jordan Valley. This was an answer to prayer because I have been praying that I would meet a new family this term. My friend, Fatin and another friend of hers went with me for the first visit. The student’s family asked me to come back for another visit and stay all day. I’m going to go in two weeks and help them make grape leaves. I am looking forward to getting to know the whole family. I have 3 students who are members of this Palestinian family.

Both stuffed grape leaves and mlouquiya are very common Palestinian dishes. This is the best time of year for stuffed grape leaves because the leaves are new and tender. The leaves are washed. Then a small amount of rice, cooked meat and spices are placed on the leaf and rolled up. Usually they are cooked with a tomato sauce, but every family does it a little differently. Mlouquiya is a little difficult to explain. It is small green leave that is boiled. If it is boiled a long time, it has the consistency of boiled okra.

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