mezze - where does it actually come from?

Meze or mezze (/ˈmɛzeɪ/, also spelled mazzeh or mazze; Persian: مزه‎‎; Turkish: meze; Greek: μεζές; Serbian: мезе; Bulgarian: мезе; Arabic: مقبلات‎‎; {{lang-al. | Meze}) is a selection of small dishes served to accompany alcoholic drinks in the Near East, the Balkans, and parts of Central Asia.

I can't really remember when I had hummus for the first time. But I do know that I was completely loved the Tzatziki while spending two weeks on Kos with my family, I think I was seven or eight years old back then.. There are many more memories I could tell you about appetizer - my grandmother did prepare the most delicious blini with sour cream dip for example. Nowadays many people gather around a table full of small plates to enjoy some bites. It's mostly not even before having lunch / dinner. To me it's a great ways to sit together for a longer period. Mostly everyone can find something matching to his / her taste.. 
and to me as host it's a very pleasant way to invite friends over, since I can prepare everything in advance and then focus on our guests. Because food is more than just feeding our bodies. We long for fellowship, affiliation and affection. 
For example: In the times of hunters gatherers, the hunters would often take an exhausting amount of time to find a wild beast for their supper. They would then bring back their pray and the entire village would have a communal experiencing eating the meat. The consuming of the food would allow them to survive as well as being protected at night from being together.

how other countries call it: 

two of my favourite mezze dishes are baba ganoush and different kind of bean spreads (not necessarily hummus). 

baba ganoush
+ 2-3 cloves of garlic, depending on preference
+ 1 large eggplant
+ 2 teaspoons olive oil
+ 2 tablespoons tahini
+ juice of ½ a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
+ ½ teaspoon of salt
+ ½ teaspoon paprika

preheat the oven to 280°. 
poke wholes in the eggplant with a fork surrounding all sides, then cut in half lengthwise. 
place the eggplant flesh side down on the baking sheet and drizzle some olive oil over it. 
bake for 30 minutes. ones the 30 minutes are over (the eggplant should be soft now) remove the skin, you'll only need the flesh of it. Roughly chop the flesh and place it into your food processor / blender. Add the garlic along with the tahini, lemon juice and spices. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with more tahini, salt, lemon juice, paprika, if desired. 
In case the garlic taste is too strong you can always add some sour cream / plain yoghurt.. 

red lentil hummus
+ 1 cup red lentils
+ 2 table spoons tomato paste
+ 1 garlic clove
+ 3-4 table spoons olive oil
+ 2 table spoons tahini
+ juice of ½ a lemon
+ 1 tea spoon natron
+ 1 table spoon smoked paprika
+ ½ table spoon salt
+ 1 ½ tea spoon cumin
+ ½ tea spoon nutritional yeast
+ 2 table spoons water, or reserved lentil liquid

cook the lentils as directed. give all the ingredients into the food processor / blender and blend till super creamy. Drizzle olive oil over the lentil hummus and sprinkle some more paprika over it. Tastes best served still a little warm. 

I served the mezze with a very delicious olive bread from John Baker, chopped vegetables, spicy cashews from Pakka, dates and figs.