The Musak It to Me pizza from Pie-Sci in Detroit

Pie-Sci

Can This Pizza Help Bring Peace to the Middle East?

Pie-Sci created a halal chicken pizza special and hosted a gathering to call attention to the plight of the Palestinian people in Israel.

  • A Pie-Sci pizza special called the Musak It to Me offered halal chicken musakhan as the featured protein.
  • Proceeds from the week-long special were donated to the Palestinian Youth Movement.

Related: Pie-Sci’s menu offers crash course in artisanal pizza

The conflict between Palestinians and Israelis has long been one of the most vexing issues in international diplomacy and politics. Can the problems be settled over a pizza? Probably not, but Pie-Sci, an innovative pizza shop in Detroit, gave it a try recently with a menu special called the Musak It to Me and an event that brought locals together to discuss the conflict.

The pizza, created in collaboration with Detroit pastry chef Lena Sereini, featured garlic oil, mozzarella, halal chicken musakhan, toasted pine nuts, caramelized onions, fresh parsley and a lemon yogurt drizzle. Pie-Sci offered the pie last Wednesday as part of a unique “Pizza and Palestine Conversations” event. Proceeds from the pizza special were donated to the Palestinian Youth Movement.

As the Associated Press reported, Israel launched new airstrikes on sites in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday morning, and Palestinians responded with fire-carrying balloons shot across the border, despite a ceasefire that was meant to end last month’s war between Israel and Hamas.

Things were a good deal more peaceful at Pie-Sci last week. According to Arab-American News, about two dozen people gathered on the restaurant’s patio to discuss the seemingly unsolvable, decades-long conflict. The event also featured guest speakers, posters, banners and other information about the conflict, including signs that called for a boycott and sanctions against Israel.

“We are fighting for the Palestinian cause and getting our voices heard,” Sareini told the Arab-American News. “In the Detroit restaurant industry alone, I don’t think enough people know about what’s going on, and I’m just here to use my voice and to educate my colleagues.”

“I’ve been a pastry chef in the industry for the last five or six years,” Sareini added. “I’ve made connections with restaurants all over the city, and it just hurts to see my industry silent when my people are being murdered across the world, you know. And, so, hopefully this shakes up the systems and more people start talking about this because we’re not afraid to be silent anymore.”

Jeremy Damaske opened Pie-Sci in July 2016 after operating it as a pop-up concept for five years. Pie-Sci offers three pizza menus, categorized as Basics: Pizza Elementary; Complex: Pizza High; and Graduate: U of Pizza. The Pizza High menu includes unique offerings such as the Freaks and Geeks (garlic oil, mozzarella, roasted pickled beets, red onion and feta, plus romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, banana peppers and a Greek dressing drizzle) and the Jimmy Pesto (walnut pesto sauce, mozz, chicken, mushrooms and red onion with a drizzle of ranch dressing). The U of Pizza menu features the Weird Al Pastor (salsa verde, mozz, al pastor pork, red onion and pineapple with cilantro and lime) and the Pear Necessities (garlic oil, mozz, sliced pears, bacon, feta, fresh spinach and a honey drizzle).