I get to the Miriam Hachim center with two other volunteers, all of us equally uncertain if we are in the right place. But it is 10:30 and a stream of Palestinian woman are walking by carrying platters of baklava and rolled grape leaves so there is no doubt that we are. In the centre that is the location for oldest woman's institute in Nablus, there is a flurry of activity as men and women rush to arrange the final touches on their dishes in order to lay them out on the large table in front of the four French judges.


Cooking2 28April


After a few announcements the testing starts, for the judges, as well as for the audience who are privy to the platters of jibne and zaatar bread. As the plates of marghshe (stuffed zucchini with meat in a yoghurt sauce) and mujadera (lentils and rice with vegetables and fried onions) come I realize very quickly that I shouldn't have pounced so quickly on the zaatar bread. By the end of the savory tasting the judges have the hollow eyes of those that have seen and eaten too much. New judges are obliged to be escorted in for the heloweyat (sweets). Platters and platters of bin arren (knefeh with cream), chocolate cake and baklava follow. A few of us are taken into the kitchen to try the fatir (a type of Nablusi sweet with cream) of one of the chefs.


Cooking1 28April


Though we are not able to stay till the end to hear the results, all the cooks were winners in my mind, as I am sure the Palestinians and internationals attending will agree. A wholly delicious event.






Organized By
Project Hope Nablus Municipality

Main Sponsors

Ministry of Culture A M Qattan Foundation Al-kamandjati Bank of Palestine
Kia  Trust International Insurance United Motor Trade Palestinian Performing Arts Network
PCP Music Harvest    
An-Najah National University  Nablus Foreningen Stavanger Kommune French Palestine Solidarity Association Amitie Lille-Naplouse
Nedco Ethno Palestine Médecins Sans Frontières Nablus-Initiative Nuremberg Lucky Babe
Dar Al Funoon Al-Yasmeen Hotel MCRC   Abna'a Um Saa'd Forum Nablus Governorate
Boulder Nablus Le Philistin Social Development Center Palestine Festival Of Literature The Edward Said National Conservatory of Music
The Danish House In Palestine Danish Film Institute Filmlab Palatine Representative Office of Denmark Bait Al Sham restaurant and hotel
Najah Broadcasting Channel Nablus Cultural Center Palestinian Cultural Enlightenment Forum Yafa Cultural Center Tariq Al-Mahabe Radio
Zatoun Firefly International Diwan Voyage Karakeeb media production Qusra Municipality
Child Cultural Center Mariam Hashim Center For Culinary Arts Visit Palestine Al Sha'abeya Library Al-Ayyam Press
Dooz Kulturrådet Music Norway PalEvent Hebron Municipality
Saleem Afandi  Aez Hawwa' Nablus Circus School Najah News
Najah Voice Maan News Palestine TV