Category Lifestyle

How one blog is helping to demystify Middle Eastern cooking

Megan Detrie for The National Nov 23, 2011 The Lebanese-American blogger Bethany Kehdy has been serving up tempting recipes and mouth-watering photos to an international audience on her food blog Dirty Kitchen Secrets (www.dirtykitchensecrets.com). Now, she wants to bring readers even closer to Lebanon with a documentary following her on a tasting tour of the […]

The Gaza Kitchen cookbook recaptures lost history through food

Megan Detrie for The National // Apr 4, 2012 // Grilled sea bream, sour plums and citrus fruits were once the staples of the Gazan diet. In the evenings, families would gather around a plate of fried fish stuffed with dill, accompanied with fragrant, chilli-spiced rice. Now, the daily struggle to put food on the […]

Luxor’s first film festival should fill a gap after most of Egypt’s major festivals were cancelled last year

Megan Detrie for The National Feb. 21, 2012 For the filmmaker Sayed Fouad, Egypt’s first major film festival this year is a coup on several fronts: The first Pan-African festival held in Egypt, organised by civil society and not the Ministry of Culture, and a major cultural event staged outside Cairo. “There are a lot […]

Bassem Youssef is known as Egypt’s Jon Stewart for his no-nonsense stand

Megan Detrie for The National Feb 14, 2012 Bassem Youssef spends most of his day in a cramped room lined with whiteboards, poring over YouTube with a team of interns. Each week, they select clips from hours of news footage that exemplify the “deceit and hypocrisy” Youssef says is so prevalent in Egypt’s television news. […]

One Cairo band becomes a revolutionary discovery

Megan Detrie for The National Dec 29, 2011 When the rock band Cairokee agreed to perform last September in Mansoura, a conservative, agricultural city in the Nile Delta region, they expected to find few fans. Instead, they took to the stage to loud cheers from a packed audience. “Everyone was singing along – I was so […]

Among the TV gourmets, a taste of Egypt’s humble cuisine

Megan Detrie for The National Oct 12, 2011 Working from a small kitchen with plastic plates, tin pots and a propane gas stove, Ghalia Mahmoud has become an unlikely television star. The 33-year-old former maid is causing a stir in Egypt with her new cooking show Elsit Elghalya (Precious Woman), where Mahmoud has become a voice for […]