FINDING A HOME AT SOUK EL TAYEB
Captured By The Recipe Hunters in Lebanon
What does it mean to be at home? To Imane and Alaa, being at home is being surrounded by their children at the dinner table, enjoying Syrian food, and thanking God for all that they have. Imane and Alaa are Syrian refugees and mothers who, with a little help from their neighbors, have overcome obstacles of hardship to provide a new home for themselves and their families in Lebanon.
From tabbouleh to Harra bi Isbaou (a traditional lentil and bread dough stew), Syrian cuisine is abound with vivid colors, flavorful aromas, and warm essences. During it’s prime, Damascus was known for it's sophisticated cuisine and it's vibrant, exotic food scene. Since 2011, over 11 million people have fled their homes and livelihoods in Syria. The country has suffered immensely in recent years, but thanks to numerous women such as Alaa and Imane, the culinary customs and traditions are not yet lost.
Because of the high rates of unemployment in Lebanon, it is difficult, if not impossible, for Syrian families to support themselves. Seeing the despair and need for help, Souk El Tayeb stepped in and formed a joint collaboration with UNHCR and Caritas to provide Syrian refugee women with access to employment and education. Imane and Alaa were two of twenty-five women accepted into the first culinary training pilot group. Through extensive training, Imane and Alaa were educated in food & safety standards and certified to work in a professional kitchen. They now are employed at Tawlet bringing homemade Syrian food to the tables of Tawlet and Souk El Tayeb. Check out their stories in our Lebanon Adventures Page.