Friend and fans have asked me, “How did you pick Israel for your second book? Why not India?” That is a great question that I have asked myself. I have lived in USA and India, traveled to 67 countries, I am not Jewish, yet I was drawn to write about Israel early on in my book writing career.
I think it really has to do with the Holy Land and it’s how it drew me in. I visited Israel in Fall of 2015 and fell in love with everything there – the scenery, people, food, architecture, markets, and the energy. The tiny country is so diverse in terms of religion and ethnicity that it is fascinating how people live together in harmony (for the most part). Yet, all we hear is there are political wars over land and religion. I was compelled to highlight the positive side of this that often doesn’t make it to the nightly news.
Israel’s history is one of the oldest known on Earth. It is an important place for Jews, Christians, Muslims and Bahai. Walking down the cobblestone streets of Old Jerusalem felt like I had stepped back in time and was tracing the path of some of the holiest people who ever lived.
The Israeli people came across to me as accepting, happy and living life to the fullest. Everywhere I went, the locals were enjoying good food and taking great pleasure in their ancestral recipes. There was food from Spain, Italy, Morocco, Lebanon, Egypt, Biblical and Jewish cuisines coming together in a melting pot that was simmering for thousands of years.
Moreover, most of the ingredients I ate were grown in Israel. The small country is entirely self sustainable in terms of food and has some of the best olives, fruits, nuts, cheese and meat I have ever tasted. Those who know me well can tell you good food is the best way to impress me!
As a drove across the country, I enjoyed the diverse landscapes changing from turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, to lush green valleys, wine country and dry desserts. It was fascinating to see so much diversity of landscapes in a country that is the size of New Jersey.
Hope this encourages you to pick up Beato Goes To Israel and find out more about this unique country. Please feel free to post comments and send your feedback. I value your opinion and will respond to every message.
P.S. I can assure you I will be publishing Beato Goes To India book sometime soon.