This Refugee-Run Catering Company Cures Homesickness With Hummus

On a recent afternoon in a kitchen within the Long Island City community of Queens, chef Diaa Alhanoun drizzled olive oil over creamy hummus and garnished it with pita bread.

Diaa grew up in Syria. There, he barbecued meats and crispy kibbeh, or potato croquettes, which can be full of minced red meat, onion, and spices, alongside his own family and buddies. He picked up the competencies from a cook in his uncle’s eating place in his place of origin of Damascus.

“When I consume or I cook Syrian food I don’t forget when I was young,” he stated in this week’s episode of the Bite podcast. “When I changed into very younger my mother cooked Syrian meals. When I make it now, I keep in mind some of these moments.”

Before the crisis in Syria commenced, Diaa turned into in Sudan with his family, looking to release a restaurant there. But when he wanted to depart, he couldn’t go back to Syria due to the fact the war had started. So he went to Jordan, as an alternative, wondering the war would give up quickly and he’d be able to go back to Damascus. He waited 4 years in Jordan as a refugee before coming to the USA in 2016. He now lives in Staten Island along with his wife, son, and daughter.
Chef Diaa Alhanoun

Chef Diaa Alhanoun

Courtesy Eat Offbeat

According to facts from the United Nations Refugee Agency, 12 million Syrians have been forcibly displaced at the end of 2016. That’s more than half of the u . S .’s populace.

In New York City, Diaa continues to prepare dinner Syrian food via a catering corporation referred to as Eat Offbeat, which employs refugees who are resettled in the city as cooks.

Manal Kahi, co-founder and CEO of Eat Offbeat, likes to mention her organization began with a craving for hummus. After coming to New York City from Lebanon in 2013 to attend graduate college at Columbia University, Kahi quickly realized she didn’t like the hummus on American supermarket cabinets.

So Kahi made her very own hummus, primarily based on her grandmother’s recipe. Her brother, Wissam Kahi, recommended her to promote it. This changed into in the midst of the Syrian refugee disaster of their domestic usa of Lebanon


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