Hacking Hunger – Episode 14: Inside a Syrian Kitchen

Published November 18, 2016

Journalist Dalia Mortada may have been born and raised in the U.S., but she grew up in a Syrian kitchen. As a child, she savored aromas and flavors like orange blossom, tamarind syrup and cardamom — tastes that would define her childhood and seal her identity as a Syrian-American.

“Syrians never wanted to leave. And it was only after five years [of war] that people actually said, ‘Okay, there is not future for me in this region.’ People were still hanging on to hope and so they were willingly staying in refugee camps, thinking, ‘Oh I’ll go home soon, I’m just across the border. I can hear the fighting,'” Dalia told us. “But what amazed we was that in the center of this refugee camp there was a falafel stand with amazing falafel, a shawarma stand, food stalls in the middle of this refugee camp. And I was just in awe.”

In this episode of Hacking Hunger, M.J. talks to Dalia about the inspiration behind her new project, Savoring Syria, and how she’s using food to spark a deeper conversation about a country torn apart by conflict.