On a Culinary Homecoming, Influencer Chefs Look to Perpetuate Palestinian Dishes 

Palestinian chefs from North America taste local Palestinian products as they explore the quality and richness of Palestinian products and sustainable agriculture, in Gaza City May 8, 2023. (Reuters)
Palestinian chefs from North America taste local Palestinian products as they explore the quality and richness of Palestinian products and sustainable agriculture, in Gaza City May 8, 2023. (Reuters)
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On a Culinary Homecoming, Influencer Chefs Look to Perpetuate Palestinian Dishes 

Palestinian chefs from North America taste local Palestinian products as they explore the quality and richness of Palestinian products and sustainable agriculture, in Gaza City May 8, 2023. (Reuters)
Palestinian chefs from North America taste local Palestinian products as they explore the quality and richness of Palestinian products and sustainable agriculture, in Gaza City May 8, 2023. (Reuters)

For Canadian celebrity chef Suzanne Husseini, a first culinary tour of the Palestinian territories was a chance to preserve and promote the dishes and folk-remedies of her ancestry.

During a farm-to-table tour of the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, Husseini and four other high-profile chefs encountered a Palestinian cuisine often unfamiliar to foreigners more accustomed to news of conflict with Israel.

"I'm back home, in Palestine, to follow, to see, to explore and document and research and reconnect with my people, with the land, with the farms, with the food - because food is my language," said Husseini, whose family comes from a town near the West Bank city of Nablus.

The tour was sponsored by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) with a view to expanding the international appeal of Palestinian cuisine despite the relative scarcity and expense of some of its ingredients.

The chefs, with Palestinian roots, focused on traditional techniques such as how to turn the poisonous dark purple Palestine lily, which blooms in the spring, into an ingredient for soups and a traditional medicine.

They also learned about the nutritional benefits of "freekeh", wheat picked while still green, smoked to retain its natural proteins and served like rice.

Mirna Bamieh, a chef and founder of the Palestine Hosting Society, which curates and seeks to revive traditional Palestinian recipes, discovered a local variant of the "kubeh" meat dumpling frequently associated with Kurdish kitchens.

"It was super fascinating because you know, we always think that we don't have a kubeh culture in Palestine,” Bamieh said.

Ismail Abu Arafeh, head of Solutions Mapping at the UNDP, said the tour gave the chefs a window into the wider culture of Palestinians amid their decades-old struggle for statehood.

"They want to see the history, the cultural significance, but also, most importantly, the nutritional value of what these old dishes bring," he added, suggesting the process could "position Palestine as a niche market that serves really the old traditional ways of production".



Dubai Culture, Khalifa University Sign MoU to Support Scientific Research on Archaeological Excavations

The MoU stipulates support for ongoing excavation works through the use of remote sensing satellite technology. WAM
The MoU stipulates support for ongoing excavation works through the use of remote sensing satellite technology. WAM
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Dubai Culture, Khalifa University Sign MoU to Support Scientific Research on Archaeological Excavations

The MoU stipulates support for ongoing excavation works through the use of remote sensing satellite technology. WAM
The MoU stipulates support for ongoing excavation works through the use of remote sensing satellite technology. WAM

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Khalifa University of Science and Technology aimed at enhancing cooperation and exchanging expertise and best practices in areas related to archaeological excavations in Dubai, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

The agreement also facilitates the use of advanced technologies in the Saruq Al Hadid and Al Ashoosh sites to further bolster studies and research on the findings of both sites, WAM said.

The MoU stipulates support for ongoing excavation works through the use of remote sensing satellite technology and advanced geophysical survey techniques developed by Khalifa University scientists and researchers to uncover any buried structures, tombs, or remains at the Saruq al-Hadid and Al Ashoosh archaeological sites.

Advanced processing techniques for discoveries will be applied, enabling researchers to create three-dimensional models of features and place them within their archaeological and environmental contexts, WAM said.