A picture of the meals created by Ethiopian Chef Haimonot

Embodying the Spirit of Ramadan as an Institution

On the eve of Ramadan, the Qatar America Institute for Culture was fortunate enough to be able to contribute to those in need during these unprecedented times. This Ramadan season, QAIC is providing support to the nonprofit organization Tables Without Borders to assist in their mission of providing jobs and access to their community of refugee chefs and numerous others coping with the economic uncertainty brought by the rise of the coronavirus.

Chef William prepares a meal of buttered couscous and grilled chicken

Chef William prepares a meal of buttered couscous and grilled chicken

Tables Without Borders assists refugees and asylum-seekers in establishing their new lives in the United States. Their efforts are aimed at rebuilding the lives of these refugees and asylum-seekers “through the power of food.”

They accomplish this mission by pairing refugee and asylum-seeking chefs with restaurants where they participate in a paid culinary internship and a special dinner dedicated to showcasing the cuisine of the respective chef’s home country.

The most recent goal of the organization is to provide 1,500 meals that will be donated to out of work restaurant workers, at-risk immigrant communities, and various other parts of the general population who are at an adverse risk during these times.

This week’s meals were prepared by Chef Williams from the Ivory Coast. Chef Williams spent several years in France developing his culinary skills and cooked this week’s meal inspired by the flavors of Morocco. He prepared buttered couscous, seven vegetables in a tomato sauce to go on top, and lemon and herb grilled halal chicken.

Syrian couple Abo Yaman and Randa, along with two furloughed restaurant workers

Syrian couple Abo Yaman and Randa, along with two furloughed restaurant workers

During this week’s outreach with Chef Williams, Tables Without Borders was able to sponsor around 600 meals that were distributed to the clients of CASA (a non-profit organization in DC that mainly serves Latin American clients).

Last week, Syrian couple Abo Yaman and Randa, along with the assisting two furloughed restaurant workers, were able to prepare over 500 meals inspired by Syrian cuisine and given to various at-risk organizations throughout the Washington area.

A picture of the meals created by Ethiopian Chef Haimonot

A picture of the meals created by Ethiopian Chef Haimonot

Those 500 meals were disbursed to families and staff at Jubilee Housing (an affordable housing community), N Street Village (homeless and low-income shelter for women), and a local church that coordinated distribution with CASA.

Prior to that, another 170 meals were prepared by Ethiopian chef and refugee Haimonot and disbursed to feed night shift workers at Howard University Hospital, with the remaining meals going to a temporary homeless shelter in Arlington, Virginia (a suburb of Washington D.C).
You can assist this organization in reaching their goal by donating at their GoFundMe page.

Tables Without Borders – GoFundMe Page

Refugee Chefs Are Cooking Free Meals For Vulnerable D.C. Residents

QAIC’s Fellowship and Internship applications are now open! Learn more here.