Just when Lebanon seems poised on the brink of disaster, the International Herald Tribune brings us a welcome dollop of good news in the form of a profile of chef, TV personality, and writer Kamal Mouzawak.
In a country riven by sectarianism and politics, one thing tends to bring people together: food.
‘In Lebanon we have many different religious sects with seemingly nothing in common,’ Mouzawak said. ‘Except food. Muslims and Christians in the north eat the same food. Muslims and Christians in the south eat the same food. The differences are regional.’
Mouzawak is the creator of Souk el Tayeb, a semiweekly farmers’ market in Beirut. Throughout horrific political tensions and outright street fighting, the market has persisted for three years. Amid life-threatening turmoil, it has become a symbol of national unity—and seriously good eats.
The Los Angeles Times beat the IHT to the “food as humane resistance in Lebanon” story, and its version is also worth a read.
“Resistance,” said Mouzawak in the LA Times story, “is trying to have a regular life.”