Archives for posts with tag: refugees

Everyday, day in and day out, people land on this blog having searched the phrase “What do Syrian Refugees Eat?” This is a bit puzzling to me, because I’ve barely posted on this topic at all, only occasionally to fundraise for Calais Kitchens and Refugee Community Kitchen.

But I’ve long felt I should lead seekers somewhere good, and at last I’ve learned of “Savoring Syria”

a project dedicated to telling the stories of Syrians and Syria through the lens of food. The conflict in Syria has led to the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II. From the yearning for a taste of home to the efforts to preserve intangible yet crucial cultural heritage, these stories access the Syrian diaspora through the universal language of food.

Have a look! It’s full of great stories and recipes and might answer some of the questions you are seeking.  There are still many other kinds of stories that need to be told, but I’m looking forward to watching this project grow.

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“How do making dumplings help people learn English?” Here’s a link to a great project in Manchester, Heart and Parcel. I wanted to RE-BLOG this practical piece about the methodology of teaching ESOL through cooking, and to share the website in general with its fantastic dumpling recipes as well as interesting articles, particularly this one I felt, on Policy, Pierogi and the Perceptions of Women.

“The dumplings and wrapped foods that we make during our sessions are a vehicle. We are not making dumplings as a means to an end, nor do we expect that all women can make, or immensely enjoy, making dumplings. We are making dumplings as a distraction; to create the process by which our participants can explore their minds, their talent, their potential, either through the task at hand (maybe we will get fantastic dumpling makers!) or through conversations had between those women, through information and knowledge being shared and transferred from one woman to another, from one community to another.”

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There are currently many women living in Britain who have a wealth of pre-existing skills and resources to offer, but do not have the required English language level to do so. These are the women that Heart & Parcel aims to support.

What is ESOL and why is it in trouble?

The government offers ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provision which is free English classes for migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers who come to Britain and need help learning the language. Due to media sensationalist coverage on ‘migrants’ and a highly politicized discourse, the general public have been ill-informed about who comes to this country, for what reasons and the amount of provision or hand-outs they receive.  This misinformation perpetuates a negative view surrounding those who require these classes. A combination of all these factors lead to funding for ESOL being insecure and unstable (Hamilton & Hiller…

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Please listen to this story about two little pieces of chocolate in Bergen-Belsen. “We’ll keep this for a day when you… really need help,” Francine’s mother had said to her. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m working on my piece about our experience volunteering in the warehouse and the camp in Calais a few weeks ago.  In the meantime, the Calais Kitchens women in this video were the ones who inspired us to come, and whom we met when there.  I deeply respect and trust them.  They are asking for donations of (tinned) chickpeas, tomatoes and fish, as well as cooking oil and ONIONS! Please no pasta.

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This came up automatically on Youtube. It’s beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking.

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A beautiful illustration by Niki Groom a.k.a., Miss Magpie, Fashion Spy, showing volunteers in a kitchen in Calais cooking hot meals for people in camps in Calais and Dunkirk- for as far around as can go.

My friend Vicky and I are going next week, to get stuck in, hopefully with one of the Calais Kitchens. Knowing we are going, people in our town, including the local Refugee Support Group, have been generously giving us money to help how we see fit when we arrive. I expect we’ll be buying onions. Our wheelie-bags are already filled with spices.

This is the Calais Kitchens crowdfunder, and thanks to friends who have already responded.

A week ago I organised some links to help people both donate and volunteer, if they’re able.

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If I’m able, I’ll post photographs on Instagram on my new account with the name “kitchencounterculture”.  Please follow me there.

Another amazing illustration by Niki Groom:

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Help if you can via this YouCaring crowdfunder and share this post.

These videos offer an inspiring introduction to the solidarity work around food in “the Jungle” camp in Calais, and those cooking, distributing and making it possible there for people to do this themselves as well. The refugees are from many places in the world, and it’s clear that most are fleeing terrible violence and have had quite a rough journey to get to where they now are.

Here’s a video showing how volunteers are working with the diversity and specificity of the people in the camp; you can feel the urgency:

 

This one shows the development of Kitchen in Calais:

 

This one what your group might want to contribute in terms of food donations:

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Lots of people seem to wind up on my blog, say the WordPress stats, looking for information about what Syrian refugees eat.  I have no personal knowledge about this, though I did a while back reblog some information that is now probably pretty obsolete pertaining to refugees in Lebanon.  That’s why you might end up here on my site.

I assume that people who ask these questions of internet search engines (maybe Siri can somehow learn as well) inquire from a place of compassion and concern, and perhaps the wish to contribute, donate, or volunteer.  Hence this post.

Some links: Read the rest of this entry »

Amazing loving solidarity work, feeding people in the refugee encampments in the cold, wet muddiness on the outskirts of Calais. Reblogging from ThatCan’tBeRightBlog.  Please share in your networks.

 

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I felt so fortunate to have the opportunity to eat with my daughter at Mazi Mas in London– to taste delicious Ethiopian home-cooking and to support a project that is all about extending lovingness and help to newcomers in our communities.  You can taste the love in that food.  If there’s a way possible, let thyself experience a Mazi Mas meal. Read the rest of this entry »

On the Greek island of Lesbos, thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and other war-torn countries are coming to shore each week,” writes Annia Clezadio.  Local people are responding in the spirit of Social Kitchens, recognising real need, cooking and eating together. creating meals as a place of sharing and shared humanity rather than charity. Read “This Kid Came Up to Ask How Much the Food Cost. I Told him It Was Free” on Upworthy for a really inspiring picture of how things can be — how things are in fact, pockets of hope and kindness in the hugeness of crisis facing refugees from war in Syria and elsewhere.  It’s the best thing I’ve read in a while, so READ IT — and it includes a recipe for Kosta’s Bigouli for 1,000, a warm-spiced pasta dish that resonates as comfort food throughout the different communities.  You can help out here.

A long spoon, a bit pot. Photo by Annia Ciedzlo

More of Kosta, in Athens:

Even in our part of mid-Wales, even at the level of current hardship our British Austerity presents, there’s a choice– and you hear this reflected in the way people respond to the possibility of “migrants” and refugees coming to settle among us.  There’s a fear that there’s not enough to share. It’s around this fear that things get ugly, that racist attitudes get enflamed, that a sense of protecting one’s own community becomes something you choose over helping people, which you’d like to be able to do, if.  If.

The Parable of the Long Spoons is so instructive, such a powerful guide, to remember there’s more for everything in the sharing, perhaps especially when circumstances feel the most dire. This seems to be what’s happening on Lesbos, in Greece.  It’s not a choice between Them and Us, the best choice is Them and Us together.

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I commend Annia Ciezadio for picking up on the “story.”  I think we have a lot to look forward to in her writings and exploration of war and food.

Here’s something truly amazing Annia Ciezadlo wrote about community gardens and people trying to feed themselves in Yarmouk, the long time Palestinian camp in Damascus that’s been for years now under siege by Assad government troops and more lately by ISIL as well.  Somehow, in spite of violence, starvation, illness, assassination– truly desperate at a level hard to imagine — people are managing a dark sense of humour and keep planting seeds and moving forward.   Another must-read.

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GOFUNDME to get money to Kosta for his work

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