Western Asian flavours and the Kurdish cuisine

04ef0397-1491-4db6-8f35-bff596077db6-mKnowing a Kurdish family may be the perfect opportunity to get familiar with their cuisine, as well. The Kurdish cuisine (Çêştî Kurdî), is composed of a wide variety of food that Kurdish people prepare since centuries ago. Analyzing where the region of Kurdistan is positioned, we won’t be surprised to notice the cultural similarities of Kurds with their very close neighbouring countries, such as Iran, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Armenia. Kurdish cuisine have as well some dishes that you will find them in the Indian subcontinent and Arab Gulf countries, such as biryani. If there is a way to describe the cuisine of Kurdistan, one may say thay it is a typical western Asian cuisine.
                            (Kurdish traditional food)
kurdistan-1

The high price of popularity: between social media and family traditions.

Palestinian girl Isra’a Ghareb (photo) is just the last case of honor killing happened few weeks ago, inside the conservative society of her country69952505_2507591386001868_4437697593346097152_n. She’ve been killed for using the social media in a shameful way, according to her family’s point of view. Last year, because of her fame, daring outfits and opinions on the social media, Iraqi model Tarah Fares and other two well-known women from the same country, (Dr. Rafeef Al Yasiri and businesswoman Rasha Al Hassan) passed away in strange circumstances, reported as being murdered by conservative religious groups, according to local mass media. All these victims were interested in beauty market and were leading female social media figures in Iraq. In 2016 Pakistani model Qandeel Balooch, has been killed by her brother while sleeping, for some selfie pictures, considered highly offensive for her family’s reputation. And these are just few cases of honor killing, where women pay with their lives for not having protective laws on their native land. Should females from conservative societies stop using the social media to protect their lives or they must act brave and keep going by following the Western trends?

The stunning tradition of Afghan embroidery

As a country surrounded by many cultures derived from different ethnic groups we are 53461739_2310920915609038_6872475963167342592_nnot surprised to find out that colours, designs and great quality materials are used by the locals of Afghanistan when it comes to their embroidery that can be seen as a reflection of country’s important location inside Central Asia. Generally speaking, the responsability with the production of embroidery is carried out by young women and girls, who are sitting inside the domestic environment, working handmade. Not only the women were doing such type of work by the end of twentieth century, but men as well. They were carrying out the embroidery, but in a different manner, such as using 15078608_1325721377462335_2400687686605380222_nthe machine embroidery from tailor’s workshops. In Afghanistan, embroidery is used for decorating a wide range of interiors, objects, mainly for home decorations (mats, towels, curtains and and table cloths) and of course, for the clothing of both: women and men. As a difference between men and women’s outfits, we must notice that women’s clothing are more colourful and elaborately embroidered. Kandahar is a famous place known for its type of men embroidery. Other places where you can find different styles of handmade embroidery may include Herat, and inside the Nuristani community located in East of Kabul, (this form of embroidery can be comparable to the chikan work originally from North of India, especially from Lucknow city). To decorate their dresses, Pashtun women use beads and large mirrors, while coins and shells are usually found on nomadic women’s dresses. Shisha embroidery (with small mirrors) can be seen at Pashtun and Baluchi women, and the idea originates in Northen India, as well.  These pictures are just a small proof of how beautiful the Afghan embroidery is!

(Beautiful traditional Afghan dresses displayed inside a shop)

69581501_2505306249563715_8724044872803155968_n

Rain in Beirut

 „And this is how I forgot to love you. I was watching you one morning and I suddenly knew, clearly, with no doubt, that I no longer love you. You will complain that I am bad, that I am selfish and that mistakes have always come from my side, because you, as a man, always have excuses, motives, circumstances explaining” THAT” behavior. The woman is hysterical. The woman is in that period of the month. The woman’s got „movies in her head”. The woman is thus guilty for being as she is, you do not bother, of course, to wonder how she ends up like it. Suddenly, the woman who did not sleep at night until she knew you arrived safe in a certain place, who did not sleep until she got a message from you, the woman who forgot to mix the sugar in her coffee when she saw you sleepy, entering the kitchen for the steamy coffee, wincing just to satisfy you, that woman is forgotten somewhere in a corner, insignificant, unimportant, with no chances to survive, and clearly too weak to be able to protect herself against the new ME. The hysterical, the selfish and who does not love you anymore. Today I am drinking my coffee just the way I like. With two teaspoons of sugar, slowly boiled, relaxed, and I am watching the rainy streets of Beirut, listening to one of Elissa’s songs. I no longer find magic in the artist’s lines, I find them senseless, written for dreamers. Your cup is a little further on the table. You are still sleeping and probably in a quarter of hour you will be looking for me to make a coffee for you also. The sugar is almost over and more than ever, I do not feel like going down to the supermarket. I am good the way I am, on this rainy weather, which „matches” my soul. All idle talks, that I am no good, that you cannot imagine how I could manage without you, all your nights out when it was „men’s time”, all those psychical intimidations making me guilty for any look I attracted in public, the hysterical, ungrounded scenes, all of which have become a millstone, and then your victimization, forgetting about her, the weak, crying woman after the „manliness” excesses. The hangman needed the victim’s protection. I am coming to you in the bedroom. I do not like you anymore. It is not because you are ugly, you have always been handsome, and there are enough jays who want you near them at a glance (I was one of them, when it smelled like Lebanese spring flowers). Our apartment is a simple, cozy one. White, cheerful, nothing Oriental in it, we are a young couple after all, influenced by our trips around Europe. But today, in the scenery of this rainy Beirut, our house seems to me more like a hospital. The patient is you, of course. It is normal like that; given that you are an innocent man. But, curiously, a powerful patient, with no wounds, if you read my minds. I am the exhausted doctor. But I will not give you any more pain killers. As from today, I will take care of myself only. And this is how I forgot to love you. You are fussing me. And I will free myself from you. I will flow as the river, on the moving staircases of the building, and I will hear your reproaches that I am selfish and hysterical fainter and fainter. You are so small in my eyes… You will probably let your family know that I left you. Yes, the guilty left the virtuous.”

Great fuss in Baghdad…

There was a lot of rumble all over the „medina”. In that happy atmosphere, tambourines and serbetes were seen, while many people were telling them,”Mabrouk”, congratulating the groom and his bride, honestly, straight from their hearts, even if some others were faking with evil smiles, pleasing „Shaytan” with their hidden jealousy. And then, the lovers start dancing for the sake of their parents: „for Ummi and Abouya!” The dancers shook their bracelets, an old musician was playing Oudh, tempting the youth to enjoy the Oriental rhythm, and finally, Baghdad’s domes welcomed „Farah”. It was, indeed, a great fuss in Baghdad this time… The princess of a prestigious nation, hidden for a long time behind the thick, beautiful curtains, decorated with protective talismans and symbols of honored Fatimah, (against the evil eye), became a wife today! And he, with amber shade colored eyes and untold thoughts, was waiting to take her to his own palace, a „Sarai”. Baghdad was celebrating. The women smiled, clapping, dancing and caring inside the snake of jealousy.

 

 

Turkmen rugs, a proof of pure, unchanged tradition inside Central Asia

The oriental carpet lovers see Turkmenistan as the first country inside Central Asian world where the tradition of carpet- weaving has remained unchanged. A typical turkmen rug is famous for its beauty, vibrant colours and outstanding quality. What makes these carpets special are the natural dyes, their distinct patterns, easy recognizable by the experts. The local weavers with their strong desire to keep the national carpets as a part of their cultural identity play a crucial role in the industry.

The Beauty of Persian World