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Hazem Alkanakri, Emad AlKarri and Fadi Al Kanakri will cook Syrian food for the Hamilton community at the 12th annual International Marketplace – Taste of the Middle East on December 2 & 3.

Hazem Alkanakri, Emad AlKarri and Fadi Al Kanakri will cook Syrian food for the Hamilton community at the 12th annual International Marketplace – Taste of the Middle East on December 2 & 3.

It’s only been four months since Fadi Al Kanakri and Hazem Alkanakri arrived in Canada as Syrian refugees. For Emad AlKarri, just seven months. Today, Hamilton is their home.

With years of experience working in the food industry in the Middle East, they are ready to share their favourite Syrian dishes with the community.

The trio will be catering the Immigrant Working Centre’s 12th Annual International Marketplace – ‘Taste of the Middle East’. The two-day event will feature delicious food, holiday shopping from newcomer artists & entrepreneurs, and live traditional Syrian music. Vendors will be selling natural skincare products, crafts, jewelry, global décor, and more.


imp-signatureFlavoured to perfection, they’ll be serving Syrian dishes such as dolmeh (stuffed vine leaves), Fatteh (chick peas, toasted bread drenched in tahini and yogurt seasoned with cumin and garlic, topped with nuts and oil), and Kibbeh (fried patty made with bulgur, minced onions, finely ground meat with spices).

“We are thankful for the hospitality and for giving us the chance to begin a new life here,” Fadi said of his experience moving to Hamilton. “We feel that we belong here.”

As graduates of IWC’s WorkLINC – Food Industry program, they wanted to participate in the event as a way to “give back”.

“The IWC was very helpful and very resourceful, they provided certificates and training for us all for free,” said Hazem, translated from Arabic. “We learned that to be part of any industry you have to have training and certification in that field. So they gave us the keys to finding a job.”

All three are now working in the food industry field in Hamilton. Although their time in Canada has been short, they are already feeling at home.

Fadi explained, “I don’t feel like a foreigner or stranger in this country ever since I came. Everybody is very helpful and they treat you in a welcoming manner.”

The International Marketplace – Taste of the Middle East will take place on December 2 & 3 at First Unitarian Church Hamilton, 170 Dundurn Street South. For more information visit http://internationalmarketplace.ca.

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