Archives for posts with tag: Palestinian Food

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 01.33.24.jpgIf you are interested in the culture, politics, ecology and economy of food in Palestine, may I recommend FoodJusticePalestine, a quite remarkable website curating diverse articles and voices from around the web on many aspects of eating and growing there.

Had I been following this site earlier, I might have been aware, for example, of the neoliberal trade context that makes Nutella a normal part of life in occupied territories, despite an initial dismay, elucidated for me by Aisha Mansour in this article. I’ve also come to question my own assumed unequivocal support of fairtrade products from Palestine, a movement that is well intentioned (and so much about solidarity) but needs to be examined in terms of issues of food sovereignty at the broadest levels.

“International fair-trade companies have also decreased Palestinian self-sufficiency. These companies offer local farmers a slightly higher price for their products than the price in the local market, but the real price of this practice is that high-quality local (baladi) produce is removed from the local market and sold to the global market at much higher prices. This has increased inequalities in Palestinian society, creating a minority of wealthy businesspeople, and leaving an entire population with low quality, imported food.”

There’s much more on this Tumblr site – articles about foodways, Permaculture, trade deals, land rights and more.  In fact it brings together so many aspects of how and why food is interesting to me.  So I wanted to share it on my blog.  Have a look and fall into a rabbit hole of fascination…  You don’t need to join Tumblr to view, but joining means you can follow people and ‘scapbook’ your own posts.

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Photo courtesy of Salsabeel Zeineddin

“Mummy, I have a wish,” said my son with a contrived sweetness.

“Yes, Darling, tell me.”

“That you make crepes for breakfast tomorrow.” It was a school night, and mornings for us are stressfully chaotic.  Crepes are labour intensive.

“Ummmmm…. What would you want with them?” I asked conflicted in desiring to give him what he wanted but feeling selfish and irritated.

Nutella.

This seemed an odd coincidence as I’d just been reading a piece about Nutella Crepes in Gaza, called “Dreaming of Chocolate,” written by a young Palestinian food writer Salsabeel Zeineddin, Read the rest of this entry »

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We Are Not Numbers is a project of Euro-Med Monitor for Human Rights and seeks to give young writers in Gaza a platform to broadcast their voices.  I contacted them to offer my blog to share food-related posts, knowing food sustainability and sovereignty to be so multifaceted and challenging in Gaza and Palestine in general, from the brilliant book The Gaza Kitchen, discussed here.  WANN’s director, Pam Bailey, responded, yes please, and would I like as well to be a mentor to two young women, both 19, both university students, coaching and encouraging them on their writing?  Though I don’t think of myself as a writer, I do think of myself as a friendly, helpful person, and so I agreed– and “chatting” with them on line, corresponding, reading their work, commenting, learning about their lives, has become a real joy in my life.  I am truly impressed by their intelligence, depth, humour, and capacity to read, write and communicate in English as a language of study.

Hey, if you can, please contribute to this fund to support a modicum of payment for the marvellous journalism and reflections of all the young writers working with WANN. 🙂

This here is a piece by Hasna Abu Ewaida, describing her favourite dish, her mother’s hand-and love-crafted Maftoul, which she wakes at 5am to make!  It’s a thrilling, detailed description of the crafting of a meal in the context of culture and family. I would love to eat it, though I confess I’ve already bought myself a pack of Zaytoun Maftoul which if you live in the UK you can find in fair-trade and small food shops

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This is Gaza Too: Behind the Rubble and Mayhem, Food that Feeds the Soul by Hasna Abu Awed

Read the rest of this entry »

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I cried yesterday. I cried reading about the death of Samar Al-Hallaq and her two little boys, and how she was pregnant. Through this siege of Gaza I’ve seen pictures of people fleeing and children in hospital and lots of gruesome horrendous imagery. This death touches me extra somehow. A mother. Two little boys. Pregnant. Working with embroidery. The details made this woman particular for me; I felt her death as a personal loss.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

“Gaza death toll rises above 200, Israel suffers first casualty.”  That’s the first news that comes up on my screen. Pretty awful times in Palestine and Israel too right now, the airstrikes and deaths and destruction, and the terrible racist rhetoric, and lots of violence against anti-occupation Jewish activists as well.  And the sirens and anxiety in Israel itself.

Peaceful people watching this situation are anguished — ones who can imagine different scenarios of justice and resolution and a politics that recognises multiple points of view.  Might does not make Right.  But Might can demand an echoing vengeance of trauma through generations, through the souls of people who lose loved ones, family, friends, properties, trees, gardens, homes– and turn that despair into revenge and rage, or not.

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