Day 30: Cook a Syrian Dish!

Syrian culture is steeped in history and great food.

DAY 30 ACTION: Learn about Syria through its food! Cook a Syrian dish and share with friends and family.

Chicken fatte, a Syrian dish with yogurt tahini, fried pita, pistachios, pine nuts, herbs, and meat. This dish is served at Damas, a Syrian restaurant in Montreal. Credit:

If the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, eating the food of other cultures can feel like a personal act of international diplomacy.

One of our goals with The Majority’s First 100 Days is to encourage engagement, with our communities and environment. This can be challenging, when social media allows us to filter the world and control what we see and whom we talk to. But it helps to get back to basics and connect on a human level, to remember what our values are, to learn about each other, and to start the conversations that can rebuild a movement.

Yesterday, we talked about the wave of Syrian refugees – the largest humanitarian crisis of our times. More than 12 million displaced people need our compassion and our help. And yet, one of Trump’s first acts was to permanently ban Syrians from entering the United States. 

It can be easy to get lost in statistics and forget the real people whose lives have been shattered by civil war, whose homes and families have been destroyed by bombings, chemical warfare, and terrorism. Food is a key component of culture, and it can help us break down barriers and learn to appreciate other cultures, too.

Syria is a small country bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the oldest human civilizations on the planet. In early written history, the region was called Eber Nari (“across the river”) by the Mesopotamians; together with Lebanon and Israel, Syria was known as the Levant. A lot of culture, including amazing food, grew out of the Levant and can be found today on Syrian tables.

This weekend, try your hand at a Syrian dish – or find a recipe to tackle in the next week. Here are three suggestions to get you started:

1. Chicken Fatteh (the dish pictured above); 

2. Red Bulgar Pilaf, made with or without lamb; and

3. Harak Osbao (a bright and beautiful lentil, pasta, and pomegranate seed dish!)

There are many more mouth-watering dishes to choose from, at CookForSyria, Help for Syria and Syrian Cooking. We also saw an intriguing Syrian Jewish cookbook called Aromas of Aleppo.

So have a look at these websites (and we’re sure there are others) and see you in the kitchen!

Today’s Action: Learn about Syrian culture through its food. Enjoy a delicious meal!! Tell us what you cook on FB, Twitter or Instagram (@misciendias).  Share photos of what you’ve made!


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