"I fled to Lebanon with my family after the Syrian civil war broke out. I now live in Bersia, Lebanon with my husband and three children. I work at Tawlet as a chef and I sell traditional Syrian food at Souk El Tayeb on Saturdays. I also love to make and sell my crochet work when I am not preparing food."
Check out Imane's beautifully crafted scarf in the picture!
How did you learn how to cook?
"I was always very interested in cooking and the different flavors that could be created with the spices in my mother’s cupboard. When my mother prepared food for our family, I always offered to help so that I could learn how to combine the spices and ingredients to make my favorite dishes."
What is your favorite memory of cooking?
Imane smiles as she remembers the first time she cooked for her husband.
"Before my marriage, my family invited my fiance over for dinner. When it came time to prepare the meal, my mother told me, 'good luck and trust yourself.' The next thing I knew, my mother had left our home, leaving me to cook by myself. I was horrified. The meal ended up being so delicious that my mother and fiance were in disbelief...who knew Imane was such an incredible cook!?"
What food reminds you most of Syria?
"A dish called Burnt finger or 'Harra bi Isbaou.' It is so delicious and one of my favorites. It is called burnt finger because no one has the patience to wait for the dish to cool down, prematurely dipping their finger in the hot dish for a taste. It is made from lentils, fava beans, pieces of raw dough (like fresh pasta), and tomato paste. Another food that I love from Syria, is the Syrian Tabbouleh which we have shared with you!"
Read more about Souk el Tayeb and how they are helping the Syrian community here!