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    Posted November 22, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Who’s at your Thanksgiving table?

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    Thanksgiving in Diaspora


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Palestinian-American iReporter wildzone and several colleagues celebrated Thanksgiving in an unusual place - the holy city of Bethlehem. He and his expat friends tucked into their holiday meal courtesy of the university's culinary students. "They [the Americans] miss Thanksgiving back home and thus the hotel management institute of the university decided to give them a nice meal," he said. Later on Thursday he spoke to his family in America as they woke up for their own day of celebration. He says he is thankful, now that a cease-fire seems to be in place between Gaza and Israel, that his family are healthy and happy.
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    You wouldn’t expect a lavish thanksgiving dinner in Bethlehem, Pa, not Pennsylvania, but in the West Bank of Palestine. Where at? Well it wasn’t your local restaurant which would have served you with grilled kabab, lamb chops and a wide variety of side dishes.


    Our host for lunch was Bethlehem Universities Institute of Hotel Management & Culinary arts, a team of fine young men and women from the program, supervised by professional Chef Peter Hermantas, Director of the program , Mr. Nabil El-Mufdi and Ms. Rania Abdel Nour, Administrative Assistant, along with several others made thanksgiving lunch, for many Diaspora Americans and Palestinians possible this year.


    Of course in Bethlehem, one doesn’t get to watch the Lions play the Cowboys on the big screen or get to run down the aisles of a local Safeway or Wal-Mart, grabbing cranberry sauce and bags of Doritos and Lays. That aside, this was just as good as the real thing, in my opinion the food was even better, who in their right mind wouldn’t enjoy a thanksgiving meal prepared by a team of professional cooks and students.


    Thousands of Miles away I will be calling my family in the Midwest tonight to see what exactly their up to, or maybe my uncle in Vegas, I have already had my share; I wish them and everyone else in the states a great thanksgiving. It is a good day indeed, for here in Palestine, situation is much quieter today with the cease fire having been announced last night, hopefully both sides will enjoy a lovely dinner with their families tonight and all we can hope for is a better tomorrow.


    Happy Thanksgiving everyone !

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