A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

National Tabbouleh Day (who knew?)

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on July 6, 2007

This afternoon I received an innocent forward that made me laugh out loud. The subject line was “National Tabbouleh Day”.

Here it is, without edits or emendations (except for making the website listed at the end into a link):
A yearly national day, celebrated the first Saturday of the month of July (this year the 7-7-2007), is dedicated to TABBOULEH.

During this day, Lebanese and their friends everywhere in the world meet in private or in public around this king of the mezzé.

This artistic, cultural, gastronomic and touristy feast presents them an opportunity to show and to reinforce their attachment to their country. This year, a big public gathering is organized at Souk el Tayeb in Saifi Village (downtown Beirut), where savoring and competitions of the best TABBOULEH will take place (www.soukeltayeb.com).

The edition 2007 of the NATIONAL TABBOULEH DAY will be special since the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism granted it its approval and its patronage officially.

Let’s celebrate all together the next NATIONAL TABBOULEH DAY that will take place on Saturday July 7, 2007.

Wherever you eat Tabbouleh on Saturday July 7, 2007, take photos and send them to contact@nationaltabboulehday.com so we’ll add them to the Photo Album of the 2007 Edition.


I am nothing if not pro-tabbouleh – for me it is the king, queen, and perhaps even the “three presidents” rolled into one of the mezzeh table. Nor am I ignorant of the fact that Thanksgiving is often referred to colloquially as “turkey day”. But this email had me hooting out loud, imagining diasporic and heritage Lebanese people gathering clandestinely to eat tabbouleh together, like some culinary version of a converso shabbat.

And of course the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism approved the holiday. First, because they want to brand tabbouleh as Lebanese once and for all, eliminating competing Syrian claims. And second, because … there is no tourism in Lebanon these days. What else does the ministry have to do?

Despite my amusement, I support the holiday. I have no problem dedicating a day to tabbouleh – in fact, I’m looking forward to it!


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