Ah…what could be more refreshing than cross-cultural exchange through drinking! Taybeh Beer, the only Palestinian brewery and one of the only microbreweries in the Middle East, is holding its annual Oktoberfest , and attracting thousands of beer-loving individuals to the small rural town of Taybeh in the West Bank.
Taybeh Beer is well known throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where it can be found in most bars and shops that sell alcohol. When I studied at Birzeit University in 2006, my friends even through a keg party supplied by Taybeh! The owner, Nadim Khoury, prides himself in supporting the Palestinian economy and sharing a local product with a international beer connoisseurs. In 2006, I had the pleasure of touring the brewery, where in addition to making the excellent brew they also produce delicious olive oil. One can buy posters from the gift shop that read “Drink the Revolution” and other such slogans promoting Palestinian nationhood. After chatting with Mr. Khoury, I also got the feeling that he wanted outsiders to know that Palestine is more than just the refugee camps and bullet hole-ridden buildings that one sees in the news. There is culture, life, and yes, even home-grown booze. Everytime I go back to Palestine, I make sure that I enjoy at least one Taybeh beer. Sure, it may be justifying my craving to have a drink, but it also feels good knowing that you are supporting a local economy and, in turn, supporting Palestinians as they achieve economic and political independence.