Syrian refugee Salma Ishaq: I do not feel like a foreigner in Jordan, I was able to adjust and integrate with Jordanian families, make friends, exchange family visits and social events.
Aman – They exchange conversations, food recipes, tableware, types of food and sweets, in a Ramadan atmosphere full of spirits and compassion, not without a painful memory, without mercy for a deceased, or a homeland from which they were forcibly displaced due to to war.
Circassian Golan Heights, Syrian Sham and Jordanian Omani, gathered near accommodation, Ramadan festivals and food preparation in productive or home kitchens, to meet Ramadan customers’ demands for Syrian, Circassian, Jordanian and Palestinian food.
On one table there were many and varied dishes, between the finger oven, the types of kibe and chakra, the famous Circassian dish, the chips and pasta with pastries with smoked cheese and Circassian sweets, dishes with maclum, mansaf, pastries with zaatar and. municipal olive oil.
Jordanian and Syrian women work in the preparation and sale of Ramadan and seasonal foods in productive kitchens with the help of a number of professional chefs, or through home kitchens that they place in their homes in specific health and nutritional conditions.
Salma Ishaq, a Syrian refugee, started making white and smoked Circassian cheese a few years ago because of the experience and accurate knowledge of its preparation, after she and her family left for the Kingdom in 2014 from the Syrian Golan .
Circassian cheese is prepared – according to Ishaq’s speech for Al Jazeera Net – from fresh municipal milk after it has been boiled, unlike other municipal cheeses, except that the amount of salt in it is smaller than other cheeses, and they are made in the form of large circular disks and are tightly stored for use throughout the year.
Ishaq, who is of Circassian origin, produces several types of pastas, cakes and food dishes containing Circassian cheese, most notably Halfa, Halwa Beda, Besha Lafa dishes and Circassian sweets and bread stuffed with this cheese.
Ishaq does not feel like a foreigner in Jordan. and social events. ”
The results of a recent survey by the UNHCR and the Nama Center for Strategic Consulting showed that “92% of Jordanians are sympathetic to refugees” and 76% of Jordanians believe that the Jordanian authorities’ approach to refugees has been positive.
At the Ramadan dinner table gathered by her friends, forty-year-old Jordanian Abeer Darwish told her story with her productive cuisine. After years of preparing food in her home, she opened a productive kitchen equipped to cook different types food.
Darwish describes Ramadan meal demand as “high as a result of Ramadan family holidays”, expecting more demand with the lifting of curfew restrictions and Corona pandemic recovery procedures, which increases performance and expands demand .
As for the dishes that customers order, they differ – according to Darwish – between the well-known Jordanian mansaf, stuffed lamb, kabsa, musakhan, maqluba, roasted chicken tray, chicken stuffed with freekeh and others, in addition to Ramadan cakes of Qatayef. , Maamoul and Maqrota with dates.
Work in the manufacturing kitchen west of the Jordanian capital, Amman, is shared by a number of Jordanian and Syrian female employees, which contributes to providing a source of income that helps them meet the demands of a dignified life.
Next to them at the same Syrian banquet coming from Damascus in 2013, Kholoud Al-Tamim excels in the production of Syrian kibeh types, including grilled and fried and others with milk, except chakriya, Baba Ghanouj, Yabraq , Yalanji and Levantine. sweets like Maamoul with nuts.
Her arrival in the Kingdom was a fundamental change in her family’s life, this is what Al-Tamim tells Al Jazeera Net, which carried with it the varieties of the Ramadan banquet and it is now marketing and distributing to customers, especially. kebabs of all kinds, ponds, samosas, etc., and produces them in the kitchen of her home with the help of the family.
According to Al-Tamim, its customers prefer home cooking to ready-made restaurants, due to the quality and care of cooking, variety of items, special taste and flavor, as well as marketing their products through social media platforms.
Al-Tamim learned from her Jordanian and Palestinian friends how to make Mansaf, Musakhan and Maqluba dishes, especially as they are new to her and taste delicious, according to her description.
About 1.3 million Syrian refugees live in Jordan, according to the Jordanian Interior Ministry, of whom about 650,000 are registered with the UNHCR, about 15% of whom live in the Zaatari and Azraq camps, while the rest are in Jordanian cities and governors.