In an effort to help in just a small way towards the escalating Syrian refugee crisis, Words is hosting a Soup for Syria evening.
Soup for Syria - Recipes to Celebrate Our Shared Humanity is a wonderful collection of soup recipes from some of the biggest chefs around the world. We thought it would be a great idea to invite our very own local celebrity chefs to prepare their own favourite soup recipes for all of us and join in the effort to raise money to help those directly affected by the crisis. Proceeds from the evening and the book sales will go directly to the UNHCR's food aid programme for Syrian refugees. More details on the event will be available closer to the date.
Soup for Syria is the result of a collaboration between author Barbara Abdeni Massaad and publisher Michel Moushabeck of Interlink publishing company. Massaad lives in Lebanon, near a Syrian refugee camp, and told Moushabeck that she had been taking ingredients to the camp at weekends to make soup for the refugees.
“She said that after several trips she thought about self-publishing a soup cookbook with recipes donated from friends and neighbours, and using the proceeds from the cookbook sales to buy ingredients to enable her to continue her weekend visits to the camp. Hearing her talk about her idea, my brain immediately went into fast forward. I thought it was a brilliant idea from someone with a big heart, but that it would achieve very little considering the magnitude of the crisis,” said Moushabeck.
“There are four million refugees and the international community has largely abandoned them. I was convinced that if we could get celebrity chefs to donate soup recipes then we have a good chance at selling a huge number of copies throughout the world, in many languages, and turn this from a one-person initiative to an international movement to bring food relief and ease the suffering of Syrian refugees.”
Moushabeck said there had been an “outpouring” of support from celebrity chefs and authors when they were approached. More than 80 have now contributed recipes, with Yotam Ottolenghi, Sami Tamimi, Anthony Bourdain, Alice Waters, Paula Wolfert, Sally Butcher and Claudia Roden the first to come on board.
Roden, with a borlotti bean and pasta soup, hopes “the book helps to keep the plight of Syrian refugees in people’s minds and that it will raise funds to alleviate their awful living conditions until their future is settled”.
“Having a few big names supporting the project from the start opened the door for us and encouraged others to become contributors. In the end, it took us less than one year to put together the 208-page cookbook,” Moushabeck said. “The author, an accomplished photographer, took numerous photos on her weekend visits to the camp. The book has wonderful food photography as well as photographs of the refugees she got to know.” - Guardian.com