Taste of Family
This is the story of Taher from Aleppo, Syria and his favorite dish, Molokhia. Before becoming a refugee and coming to Greece, Taher was a school teacher in the morning and he was working as a chef in the evening.
While he is cooking his favorite dish, which is also his family specialty, Taher is talking about his life in Syria and the difficult decision he took to flee his country and leave his family behind. He also tells us about his journey to Europe and how simply the smell of his favorite dish brought back all of his memories of his homeland and life in Syria....
Taher now lives in Greece and continuous to work as a chef.
Creative Team: Emilia Skourla, Georgia Ampourandy, Maria-Violeta Kyriakou
Directing/Script consultant: Vassilis Loules
The inspiration of our theme was a food/cooking community network of refugees and immigrants which we had the chance to meet in Athens. Before coming to Greece the majority of them used to work as cooks back in their countries. Each cook is cooking dishes from his homeland.
Through this food/cooking network idea, we came up with our documentary idea which is exploring the way food and cooking connects with the homeland.
In particular, we attempted to explore the relationship between food and cooking and Taher's home country.
We met people who despite the fact that they fleed their countries and the great difficulties they endured during their journey but also the difficulties they encountered in beginning their new life in Greece, they are trying hard to make a new beginning in life and they are full of positive energy. They are giving us all a valuable life lesson
We learned about their past life, their friends and their families, the difficulties of their journeys, what stresses them the most and their fears. They feel proud about their art of cooking and they are trying through this art to make a new beginning in life. We felt that we could easily be in their shoes. They value a lot the notions of family, food and friendship which are very present in their lives.
The direction of our research into cultural actions that help integrate and regularize refugees has led us to collective creativity structures, in particular to the cookery-refugee and migrant collections. This college has brought us a unifying entity that makes a new family into a new place and a tradition that continues through the food. Our protagonist cooks and food feeds pictures from his homeland and his family.
I had the honor to meet people whose narratives from their homeland, their journey and their new everyday life can make you review what's important. Their will to make their lives and their need from the outset is not just about survival but a new life with substance gives energy, strength and optimism.
I saw that refugees is not a matter but it is the people who have been forced to see their lives change and leave their homeland, their family and friends. It is a matter of fortune that we are not these people. The important thing is to see the power lesson they give. The tradition that continues to link them to the homeland, the world they have lost. What they value is family, friendship, creation and offering a dish.