(Atlas of the Future) Souk el Tayeb’s story begins in 2004 at Beirut’s original open-air market. The very first of its kind in Lebanon, it did what farmers’ markets do – highlighted rural produce in the urban environment. Aptly-named (as ‘tayeb’ means ‘good’, ‘tasty’ and ‘good hearted’ in Arabic), ‘the good market’ has evolved into a forum and movement to share food, traditions and hospitality – bringing together fractured communities.
Following the train of thought that food is a way for people to express themselves and break down cultural barriers, five years after starting the souk, founder Kamal Mouzawak set up Tawlet farmers’ kitchen. Every day the producers’ open kitchen introduces cooks who tell stories of their Lebanese regions through food. Today Tawlet has become an outlet for female cooks who have completed the Capacity Building Program, which pairs food and women and builds on culinary traditions and heritage.
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