TORONTO, Canada – Chatting around a large wooden table, Syrian women methodically scoop a mixture of rice, tomatoes, onions, fresh parsley and mint onto grape leaves.
Wearing plastic gloves and aprons, they delicately roll the leaves and place them in small mounds on plates in front of them. Then, without skipping a beat, they grab more and start the process over again.
All the while, the animated and jovial conversations around the table do not stop – nor does the cooking.
This is the Newcomer Kitchen, a volunteer-run initiative that brings Syrian refugee women together in Toronto to cook and share traditional meals from their native country with Canadians.