“The world will be saved by beauty.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky
I recently returned to the Middle East to continue my practical education in fundamentally human things.
Among the “courses” that I took was breakfast.
The photo above is of my breakfast plate from the Amani Cafe in Nazareth. A dear friend of mine who has been living there for the past two years told me that this cafe was among her favourites.
I was so impressed by this breakfast platter that I wrote the following comment beneath my social media post about it:
Serve anyone who wants euthanasia a Middle Eastern breakfast like this and they will immediately recant. Even if the person cannot eat a single morsel, the sheer dignity of and attention to the preparation of such a plate is enough to revive a person’s sense of worth.
What is it about such a breakfast that makes me think that it could literally save lives?
First, there is the beauty of the presentation. The dishes are colourful, decorative, and of various shapes and sizes. Every item is presented like distinctive colours of a painter’s palette. The food is also colourful and varied. It is healthy and pleasing to the eye. More than that, there are so many details that take time and attention. The way the cheese is decorated with spices and the labneh is adorned with oil. The bread is comforting because it is warm. The vegetables have been chopped and arranged in a way that takes time, too.
This is a breakfast for human beings. It is, indeed, a humanizing breakfast.
I am convinced that such beautiful meals have the capacity to revive a person’s sense of worth and that an education in humanizing breakfasts may even save lives.