Conflict Café opens for Peace Day

29 August 2017 by
First published: 25 August 2017

Conflict Café opens for Peace Day

Syrian pop-up Conflict Café opens for Peace Day. Experience the power of food from around the world and share the love!

The power of food

Good food has the ability to bring people together. We can all bond over our love of delicious meals, which is what Conflict Café is all about. The pop-up, which is now in its fourth year, was created by charity International Alert. Every year, Conflict Café focuses on a specific part of the world where conflict is strife and then cook meals from their regional cuisines. They’ve served up dishes from a variety of countries and this year’s focus is Syria. Their aim is to highlight the unique cultures and customs of these countries that deserve to be preserved, showing that there’s more to these amazing countries than the problems they face.

Sharing is caring

We may all come from different backgrounds, but we’re actually very similar. Sharing is definitely caring, which is a philosophy that Conflict Café has wholeheartedly taken on. ‘Across the Middle East, sharing food is a sign of hospitality, a gesture of care and pride,’ says Caroline Brooks, International Alert’s Syria Projects Manager. ‘Even if you can’t speak the same language, food, and the sharing of food is a way to communicate with each other.’ When you dine at the Conflict Café, you sit at communal tables so that you can share the food and the soak up the ambience with your fellow diners. Hopefully you’ll enter the tunnels with strangers and leave later with new friends!

Make a difference

International Alert is on a mission to make a positive impact on the world. The work they do is instrumental, working with children who have experienced all levels of trauma and helping adults become more active in their communities. Serving wholesome meals may seem like a simple act, but it really helps people connect with one another. ‘There is something very significant about the act of bringing people together around a table to eat, whatever their differences: the very act of cooking and sharing food is a unifying one,’ says Yotam Ottolenghi, leading restauranteur and food writer. ‘It’s true that this is not the only tool for peace, but it is a step in the right direction and a great reason to support Conflict Café.’

Conflict Café is part of the Talking Peace Festival organised by International Alert, a four-day festival highlighting creative ways to build peace.

Conflict Café is running in partnership with Grub Club, House of Vans London and Cult Events from 21-23 September.

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