Meet&Eat: Bringing Arab Culture to Berlin

Students sitting at the table eating the traditional dishes they made

One of our goals at QFI is to foster global competency and connections with the Arab world through education, experience, and personal encounters. So, how do we begin understanding another culture, and what makes personal encounters so valuable? In 2018, the charity Be an Angel founded the restaurant Kreuzberger Himmel in Berlin, Germany. Run by refugees, this restaurant serves Syrian delicacies and aims to train young Arab refugees from Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan as well as introduce German locals to Arab culture. Meet Mo, Rand, and Rose- high school students from refugee background at Kreuzberger Himmel and helping to host Meet&Eat, an event that invites locals in for a night of cooking and conversation.

Since 2019, QFI has supported Meet&Eat, a program that fosters the dialogue between students with a refugee background and young adults between 16-21 years old. Meet&Eat is a bi-monthly event hosted by the three refugee students, where up to 15 participants gather at Kreuzberger Himmel to learn to prepare beloved Arab dishes such as hummus, tabouleh, and shish taouk. Under the guidance of an experienced cook, participants can master the art of cooking and experience Arab culture and cuisine without leaving Berlin. Below, two hosts assist participants in preparing dinner!

Meet&Eat has brought in participants from all over Berlin, including the Kreuzberger Tiger Basketball Team, various Berlin schools, and girl scout groups. It is not just about cooking delicious food, but about building friendships and understanding, as refugees often share their experiences and stories with participants. Creating an emotional connection between hosts and participants further welcomes the refugees to Berlin while familiarizing locals with the hardships refugees had to endure, as well as the beautiful cultures they were forced to leave behind. Dinner is served family-style on a long table, emulating family dinner in an Arab home. During dinner, the restaurant echoes with laughter, stories, and jokes as they get to know each other. It is truly something special that happens in Kreuzberger Himmel!

For many, this cooking experience was their first-ever encounter with Arab culture, and we are hopeful that they will leave with full bellies, new friendships, and an eagerness to learn more about the Arab world! QFI is proud to support Meet&Eat’s efforts to foster connections with the Arab world and is proud to see its impact.