On this season, we are going beyond the plate to understand how the complexities of food, farming, and cuisine in the region, are shaping peoples’ writing, thinking, cooking, and organising.
Sara Masry speaks with Fadi Kattan about everything from Palestinian cuisine in Chile and Haiti to why you shouldn't make chocolate and beetroot hummus. Fadi is a Franco-Palestinian chef from Bethlehem.
Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed speaks with Faris Sheibani about the history and culture of coffee in Yemen. Faris is a British-Yemeni social entrepreneur and founder of Qima Coffee, a Yemeni social enterprise that uses coffee as a vehicle for livelihood generation in Yemen.
Taif Alkhudary speaks with Nawal Nasrallah about Iraqi cuisine from Mesopotamia to modern day. Nawal is an award-winning food historian of the Arab world, and translator of major medieval Arabic cookbooks hailing from Baghdad, Egypt, and Al-Andalus.
Nadine Almanasfi speaks with Vivien Sansour about seed conservation and the protection of agro-biodiversity as a cultural and political act. Vivien is founder of the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, an interactive arts and agriculture project attempting to record ancient seeds and their stories and put them back into people’s hands.
Michael Mason speaks with Michael Fakhri about why food is a human right, and how he uses the case of Lebanon, his home country, as a sounding board for his right to food questions as UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food.
We speak with Mana Shamshiri about the origins of veganism, it's rise amongst youth in Iran, as well as cooking in the diaspora, with analysis from Ghoncheh Tazmini and Alireza Sedighi. Mana is creator of the website and Instagram platform 'The Iranian Vegan'.
Is there such a thing as a Dubai cuisine? What role do the migrants and expats of the emirate play in curating this food culture? We see if Vidya Balachander can help us find some answers, with analysis from Steffen Hertog. Vidya is a food writer, editor and journalist currently based in Dubai.
Camel milk, mushrooms, ta’miyah, agashe, aseeda, tarkeen, these are just some of the foods and dishes that make up Sudan’s intricate network of cuisines. We spoke with Omer Eltigani, cook, archivist and founder of ‘The Sudanese Kitchen’ to talk more about the country’s vast foods, their historical influences and how he is trying to bring these recipes to the younger generation.
This episode also features comments on gender and food from Jennifer Shutek, PhD candidate and instructor, as well as a discussion on food and identity with filmmaker Hajooj Kuka.
Have you ever thought about the names behind the dishes you’re eating? Salma Serry, an Egyptian born filmmaker, interdisciplinary foodways researcher and founder of Sufra Kitchen, gave us the lowdown on how many of the foods we know and love came to be named. We discuss folk tales, personal and national histories, and even get into the grammar of it all!
This episode also features contributions from Mahmoud Arif, Iran Seyed Raeisy, Rusaila Bazlamit, Rawand Issa, Rajae Oujlakh and Sergen Bahceci.
From Tlemcen through to Bethlehem and the Bekaa Valley, we chart the history of wine production in the Middle East and North Africa. Farrah Berrou talks us through her journey of wine writing for a Western audience and what the future holds for Lebanese wine. We also explore the relationship between French colonialism and wine production, and ideas of nationhood, religion, and politics in Algeria and Palestine.
Farrah is founder of B for Bacchus, a media platform & podcast featuring wine stories from the Fertile Crescent.
This episode also features commentary from Jamal Rayyis, a Palestinian-American wine writer, as well as Arthur Asseraf, historian of modern North Africa, France and the Mediterranean.