Coffee and Culture

I have often heard nostalgic stories from my mother and looked at endless pictures of Libya’s golden years, a time that seems to good to be true for people of my generation. The 1950’s and 60’s, that brief period when Libya gained independence and Tripoli was a thriving progressive metropolis, and Libyan Muslims coexisted with Jews;…

Eid Al-Fitr by Dr. Seuss

I would like to take a moment away from my family and festivities to share this Eid greeting with you. Inspired by Dr. Seuss, my husband drew the Saraya (himself, he’s so talented!) and posted it to all his family and friends on Facebook. And in the same spirit, this was my reply! I hope…

Ramadan in a Sofra

At sunset every day, during the holy month of Ramadan, the Sofra is the magnet that pulls family members together. Mom and the older girls emerge from the kitchen;  Dad comes home from mindlessly roaming the street – avoiding his stressed out wife; the zombie-like teenagers are freed from the trance of their mobile phones and…

The Spirit of Ramadan Past

Ramadan is a month of fasting and feasting.  More pious Muslims will say that feasting defies the purpose of the month, that really it is a month for worship only. But for me feasting is integral to Ramadan. It puts our plentiful food into stark contrast with our daytime deprivation, making us even more grateful…

Food Truck Nation

For most people, the name “food truck” will conjure images of gourmet burgers and fusion tacos. Across the United States and Europe these mobile eateries offer haute cuisine for the masses. This hot trend has started to catch on in the Middle East, especially in Dubai. In older cosmopolitan cities like Cairo and Istanbul, food…

Another Spring

I started the We Are Food blog to satisfy an unrelenting need to identify with my Libyan roots. I wanted to understand what being Libyan meant; to define the Libyan identity. Part of our cultural heritage was lost through globalization and a desperate need to modernize ourselves; to be en vogue and up to date with the rest of…

Hand, Spoon, Fork : The Evolution of Libyan Food Culture

Through my endless readings and observations in Libyan Food Culture since first starting the We Are Food project in 2009, I find myself grouping Libyan recipes into three major categories, Hand – Spoon – Fork, or food which would require one of these three as the main eating utensil. From the very humble diet of the indigenous…

Patriotism and Happiness

I just wanted to share some pictures from around Tripoli today (and some of my little BIG girl Dana). Happy 17th of February and Viva Libya!

No Vegetarians Here

Also published on Look Out Libya For a country in which most of the population lives along 1,770 km of Mediterranean coastline, I find it fascinating that lamb rather than fish is the protein of choice in the Libyan Diet. Lamb takes center stage in all Libyan meals and is considered a status symbol where…

World Pasta Day

I have always been mislead into believing that the Italians have had a great influence on Libyan cuisine, but the more I read, the more this conviction fades.  When we do think of Italian cuisine, pasta is one of the first dishes that pop to mind.  This leads many to the assumption that macaroni (generic…

Quality not Quantity: Obesity in Libya (part 2)

The Libyan diet can be described as being both Mediterranean and North African, although these are very broad terms and regional variations are seen from country to country, and within different regions of a single country. Climatic differences and administrative boundaries have historically segregated Libya into three distinct regions with major culinary differences, simply known…

Bigger not Better: Obesity in Libya (part 1)

I remember a time back in the 80’s when the Mediterranean diet was hailed for being super healthy and Americans were encouraged to adopt some elements of it.  Soon after, a craze for olive oil began but what some people failed to recognize was that even if olive oil is good fat it’s still fat…