Today is the anniversary of the Syrian conflict. And recent news tells one tragic story—seven years of war, besieged communities like Eastern Ghouta decimated by airstrikes, children hiding in basements to survive.
But these photos—the story of how ZeroHunger Heroes like you are helping the World Food Programme (WFP) save and change lives—tell another.
Bread is a staple food and a powerful cultural symbol in Syria. The country is located within a region where culinary culture has been rich for thousands of years. Along these areas known as the Fertile Crescent, history shows that Sultans during the reign of the Ottoman Empire would send their chefs to spy on chefs in Aleppo, the culinary capital of Syria.
“Cooking and eating are very important to Syrians,” says Dalia Mortada, the Syrian-American founder of Savoring Syria, a project dedicated to telling the stories of Syrians and Syria through the lens of food. “And the way that comes out is in recipes that are passed down from generation to generation. People spend hours every day preparing meals just because that’s what they do.”
When the war devastated Aleppo in late 2016, the community’s daily bread came under attack. Most bakeries inside eastern Aleppo were destroyed, pummeled by bombardments and airstrikes. The World Food Programme (WFP) sprang into action, providing bundles of bread to nearly 12,000 displaced people in addition to nutrition supplies for over 1,000 children.