Souk El Tayeb, the first farmers’ market in Lebanon, has been doing wonderful work to “share food, traditions and hospitality in a way that has helped bring together fractured communities” in Beirut and throughout Lebanon. Expanding beyond farmers’ markets, the organization now includes restaurants which offer cooking classes and catering, as well as hosting events and appearing at food festivals. One of their most recent projects, Atayeb Falastine (which translates more or less as “deliciousness of Palestine”), highlighted the cuisine of the Palestinian diaspora in Lebanon. Women from two camps prepared traditional Palestinian dishes for catering, with the goal of “highlighting Palestinian history, traditions, and food” while also empowering the cooks and improving their livelihoods.
Founder Kamal Mouzawak recently attended the MAD food symposium in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he gave a talk entitled “Make Food Not War.” He is an eloquent speaker and a brilliant thinker, so take a moment and watch.[vimeo http://vimeo.com/29139789]
And they recently featured the concept of culinary diplomacy in their weekly newsletter — see below. It is a true honor to have my work highlighted by an organization like Souk el Tayeb. And I love the introduction, “Looking at diplomacy through the kitchen door.”
Souk el Tayeb’s mission is to create environments that bring people of different regions and beliefs together – celebrating the land we love, supporting small-scale farmers and producers, encouraging organic, eco-friendly practices, contributing to local communities, leading research and educational campaigns about food traditions and heritage, and promoting organic foods and a healthy lifestyle.