In the News / March 2018

Syrian Refugee Cooking Up A Taste of Home

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“I love cooking,” Rana Safieh says. “I do it every day.”

Just over a year ago Safieh, a refugee from the Damascus suburb of Ghouta al-Sharqiya, came to Albany with her family. While much about their lives changed when they arrived in the U.S., one of the few constants was the food Safieh continued cooking that reminded her of home.

On the 24th, the Albany Academy for Girls held their 10th Annual Taste of the World festival in which Safieh was able to share her cooking with others as well. Safieh and a friend, Amy Lucey, set up a booth with photos and information about Syria; It is the first year Syria has been represented at the event.

“Lucey, a volunteer with the Albany office of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, and Safieh met a day after the latter arrived in Albany. They became fast friends, getting together for meals and play dates for their children. About a month ago Lucey told Safieh about the festival, and she was eager to participate.”

During the festival, Safieh thought about her family, some of whom are still in Syria and have gone into hiding. She took pictures of the food to share with them.

“It has been hard,” Safieh said. “I am waiting. I am keeping the foods alive for them. I am cooking for my family.”

Read more about Safieh here.

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