Soup for Syria
By Mary Reilly, photographs by Barbara Adbeni Massaad, courtesy Interlink Publishing.
Soup. Uttering that word can make you feel warm, loved, safe. When we want to comfort and nourish those around us, soup is what we turn to.
When Lebanon resident and author Barbara Abdeni Massaad wanted to do something to aid the Syrian families in the refugee camp near her home, she began with soup. Every weekend, she and her husband began cooking gallon upon gallon of soup to bring to the camp. Her friends saw what she was doing and joined them. Feeling like she should do more, Massaad turned to her friend and publisher Michel Moushabeck.
Moushabeck suggested that they combine efforts to have a greater impact. With Massaad’s background as a food writer and TV host and Moushabeck’s experience as publisher and editor, the logical choice was a cookbook. The two of them began making phone calls, requesting recipes from friends and acquaintances.
The result is Soup for Syria, a collection of over 80 lavishly photographed soup and stew recipes. The international family of contributors includes celebrity chefs and authors such as Paula Wolfert, Alice Waters, Mark Bittman, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Anthony Bourdain. All the proceeds from the book’s sale go the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR.
There are over 4 million Syrian refugees in five countries:
Nearly 8 million Syrians are internally displaced.
Thousands of Syrians continue to flee their country every day.
Half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18. Most have been out of school for many months.
More than half of Syria's pre-war population of 23 million is in desperate need of urgent humanitarian assistance.
Source: UNHCR, February 23, 2015.