What is the lesbanese cook?
The Lesbanese Cook is virtual dinner table that brings people together over food, creating space for the stories that are elsewhere forbidden. Over food recipes, we will discuss topics that transcend the taboos of sexuality, race, religion and the differences that make us unique. The virtual dinner table will be hosted on the Lesbanese Cook podcast (launching soon!). Following every dinner, the food recipes and stories will be available on the blog of this website.
Why combine food and stories?
Regardless of our differences, we will always have food in common. It is an essential slice of living, universally shared and adopted. We all need and often want to eat. Food in itself is a story of tradition and evolution. It is also the setting where stories and expressions of identity are shared. When I ask someone to join me for a meal, it's usually so we can talk and catch up while enjoying the food. The same concept applies to The Lesbanese Cook: we start with the food to bring people to the table and create a space for the stories that may otherwise too hard to tell.
What topics are the stories about?
Any topic related to social and gender justice will be addressed. There are many laws and cultural taboos in Lebanon, the Middle East as well as other parts of the world that are unjust, and impede people from living in fulfilment. While our main focus will be on sexual orientation and gender identity, we welcome stories related to other cultural and social aspects of life: cohabitation, marriage and divorce, legal restrictions on women, freedom of expression, nationality and guardianship of children among others. If you're interested in learning about some of the legal protections missing from Lebanon, here is a United Nations document assessing the policies affecting gender justice: https://www.undp.org/content/dam/lebanon/docs/Women%20Emp/Lebanon%20Country%20Assessment%20-%20English.pdf
I'm not from the middle east. can i still share my story?
We are always open to hearing and hosting people with stories that may be helpful to others. Get in touch and tell us a little bit about yourself and we will take it from there. Email [email protected].
I'm scared for my safety. can i still take part?
While some people may choose to make their stories public, others may wish for their identities to remain private - and that's ok! We will always treat your identity with confidentiality and keep your personal information private unless you give us permission to do otherwise.
I strongly object to all of this. how do i let you know?
We would love to hear from you too! After all, without a dialogue, food parties can be pretty boring. Get in touch with your thoughts at [email protected]. We appreciate that some of the topics may challenge your beliefs and make you uncomfortable and we are open to hearing your thoughts. We kindly ask you to express them with respect. Of course, we will refer any threats to the legal authorities but there is no need for that . We are here to have a conversation.