Israeli town seeks salad record, religious reconciliation

Residents of the Israeli town of Shfaram were seeking on Friday to make the world's largest Tabouleh salad, hoping to bring reconciliation after violent Christian-Druze clashes.

"We are trying to get the Guinness record," said event organiser Ala Khuria as residents were busy chopping 700 kilos (1,540 pounds) of tomatoes and other ingredients that should make up a four-tonne salad.

But more important than surpassing the 3,557 kilos (7,825 pounds) Lebanese chefs stirred into a giant bowl in September, is bringing together the town's Muslims, Christians and Druze, Khuria told AFP.

"We are doing it for the union of the town," he said.

The northern Israeli town was rocked in June by Christian-Druze riots that broke out over rumours of the posting on Internet of a video clip vilifying a Druze religious leader.

Druze - followers of a breakaway sect of Islam - make up about 10 percent of the town's population, Christians 35 percent and Muslims 55 percent.

Tabouleh is a popular Middle Eastern salad whose ingredients include parsley, bulgur, tomato, lemon juice and olive oil.

Residents recorded every step of the preparation to send on to adjudicators of the Guinness Book of World Records.

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