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FOOD & FEAST LEBANON'S FOOD FESTIVALS
Food and Feast are regional food festivals that highlight local culture and food traditions in different villages and regions of Lebanon: celebrating food like kebbeh in Ehden, fish in Batroun, karaz in Hammana, akkoub in Deir el Qamar, kaak bi haleeb in Marjeyoun. These festivals promote Lebanon’s less touristic, less visited, and therefore less known villages and regions, by collaborating with local authorities to create an event that will promote the village and its traditions. More importantly, though, it is a different platform through which we can bridge urban and rural Lebanon.
In 2004, the Farmers Market began with the goal of connecting people to the farmers and producers who make their food - in short, it brought (and continues to bring) the rural to the city. Our Food and Feast festivals extend this concept by encouraging city dwellers to go out and visit the towns and villages where the cherries they love are grown or the mouneh they love is made. Not only allowing consumers to be introduced to the land and villages where their food comes from, but empowering local farmers, producers, and artisans by giving them another market through which they can sell their products. In most Food and Feast festivals, Souk el Tayeb arranges: A market for local producers to sell various products, including locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, homemade mouneh, traditional local cuisines, and traditional arts and crafts A village lunch where visitors enjoy a number of different traditional dishes of the villages cooked by the villagers themselves Entertainment celebrating each regions specific feast activity through competitions (most delicious local dish, longest church bell ring) and traditional entertainment Guided tours to promote each region’s specific natural beauty Educational and entertaining kids activities specific to each village
CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAM
Making Food, Not War Souk El Tayeb’s Capacity Building Program (CBP) aims to empower small scale farmers, producers, cooks, and underprivileged communities by providing them with necessary skills and know-how to allow them to become economically independent. Through this mandate, the program is also able to help protect and revive the culinary traditions of the beneficiaries it supports. Embedded within the CBP program is the inextricable aim of justice, tolerance, solidarity, and peacebuilding. Or, as we say, “Make Food Not War”.
When they reach the end of the CBP program, target beneficiaries are equipped with the theoretical and practical skills necessary to start their own catering lines and business should they wish to do so. Programs are crafted with experts and chefs, where financial knowledge, interpersonal skills, and vocational skills - such as self-confidence, culinary and agricultural know-how, food safety, corporate identity creation, and marketing and branding - are taught. Start-up catering lines and businesses are supported by Souk El Tayeb’s existing facilities and events, such as the Farmers’ Market, Tawlet, and Food & Feast.
Souk El Tayeb has partnered with a number of groups and organizations including the International Labour Organization (ILO), The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), The International Rescue Committee (IRC), Caritas, Ruwwad al Tanmeya (in Tripoli), and The Women’s Program Association (WPA). The total number of beneficiaries now exceeds over 300 people from various groups including migrant workers, rural and urban Lebanese women, and Palestinian and Syrian refugees, making the CBP program an integral part of Souk El Tayeb. We are proud to say that the success of the CBP program has even led new partners to replicate the project module, allowing for the continual engagement with new beneficiaries.
Atayeb Falastine (Bounties of Palestine) Palestinian Traditional Cuisine by women of Ain El Helwe Camp (South Lebanon) and Nahr el-Bared Camp (North Lebanon). This project was developed in 2012 in collaboration with, and in support of, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Norwegian Embassy in Lebanon. Its objective is to empower Palestinian women in both camps by reviving Palestinian culinary traditions and creating a catering menu as an income-generating activity.
Afkar This is a program that allows women from Ramliyeh (in the Chouf) to celebrate their history and their traditions through Mouneh. It aims to empower women by reviving their culinary traditions and to assemble them under ATAYEB RAMLIYEH - a brand identity under which they can explore different income-generating activities, allowing them to be economically independent. ATAYEB RAMLIYEH is a partnership between AFDC and Souk El Tayeb, with the support of the European Union through the Office of the Minister of State for Administrative Reform. Atayeb Cheghel el Beit (Bounties of Domestic Workers) and Asian and African Cuisine by Migrant Domestic Workers in Lebanon This project is in collaboration with, and in support of, the International Labor Organization (ILO). It aims to empower female migrant domestic workers from Asia, Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Madagascar, Cameroon, and Benin. All of these exceptional women working in our homes are given the opportunity to celebrate and be proud of who they are, by sharing their history, culture, and food with us!
Atayeb Trablos is a project in collaboration with Ruwwad el Tanmia (a social organization in Tripoli), that works with war widows on the war front in Tripoli, between Jabal Mohsen and Bab el Tebeneh. The program targets 10 women from each side who come together in the kitchen, bridging divides within communities through the preparation and sharing of food. Atayeb Zaman Projects (Bounties of Times Past) Traditional Cuisine by Syrian Refugees and Lebanese Women Part I – In partnership with Caritas and the support of UNHCR, this program targets Syrian female refugees installed in Dekweneh, Beirut. It empowers Syrian and Lebanese women by keeping their culinary traditions alive and to improve their livelihoods by creating a catering line that can be a source of income. Part II – Following the success of Part I, a second project was launched with Caritas and UNHCR targeting Syrian women refugees installed in Rmeileh, in South Lebanon. Like the first, this program aims to empower Syrian and Lebanese women by keeping their culinary traditions alive and to improve their livelihoods by creating a catering line that can be a source of income. Falastine 100 %: 100% Palestinian, 100% women, 100% quality food Palestinian Traditional Cuisine and Mouneh By Women of Burj el Barajneh Camp, Beirut. This project is in collaboration with the Women’s Program Association in Burj el Barajneh Camp, and the support of Alfanar, supporting Palestinian women of Burj el Barajneh Camp. The aim of the program is to empower women by reviving their culinary traditions and creating a catering line that can be used as a source of income. Halba Akkar Syrian refugees in Halba Akkar Part I & II - This project began as a single collaboration with IRC, targeting 24 Syrian refugee women and men in Halba Akkar. It since expanded, targetting a second group of refugees in the same area.
The Mouneh Project – Another collaboration with the IRC that targeted a new group of 25 Syrian refugee women and men in Halba Akkar, where they were taught how to make mouneh. Soufra Soufra is a continuation of the Falastine 100% project, in collaboration with the Women’s Program Association in Burj el Barajneh camp. The program targets 15 Palestinian women, teaching them the art of mouneh as an income generating activity.