Souk El Tayeb and Culinary Diplomacy

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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.


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 Newsletter

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.

3 Responses

  1. Huge supporter of gastrodiplomacy as well! Looks like a great organization – how do you find out about these?

    • Hi Elaine — thanks for your comment! I met Kamal Mouzawak at a talk he gave at the Fletcher School in 2012 and have been following his organization since then.

      If you’re interested in gastrodiplomacy / culinary diplomacy, keep your eyes out for the next issue of Public Diplomacy Magazine, published by USC. It’s dedicated solely to this growing field, and will have some interesting articles for you to learn more.

      Check out the announcement here, and stay tuned for the publication:


  2. […] The latest project from Kamal Mouzawak’s food diplomacy farmers’ market is Atayeb Falastine, which focuses on the cuisine of the Palestinian diaspora in Lebanon. […]

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