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Gastronomy as a vital engine of dialogue in the Mediterranean Region

November 2014
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Intercultural Affairs

Dorsaf Hamdani. Hommage croisé de Barbara et Fairouz

Barbara et Fairouz. Toutes les deux ont chanté la vie, l’amour, les passions et le désespoir en refusant les travestissements et la facilité. Leurs plus belles chansons, désormais classiques des répertoires français et arabe, sont aujourd’hui réinterprétées par Dorsaf Hamdani, dans un respect de la tradition musicale orientale mais enrichis d’influences venues d’ailleurs.

Connected Walls

25 years after the physical Berlin Wall came down and ended the “Mauerkrankheit”, 41 separation walls are still dividing entire populations. By diminishing dialogue perspectives, they are increasing assumptions towards each of the concerned communities. Every ten days, 2 film crews, each composed by 2 local directors living on each side of these walls, will have to communicate together despite these physical and cultural borders, in order to take up a challenge: co-direct short documentaries, about topics imposed on them by webusers.

La Méditerranée, grande oubliée de l’Europe

Alors que tous les regards sont tournés vers Berlin, à quelques centaines de kilomètres plus au sud se joue aussi une partie de notre avenir. Le 23 novembre prochain, la Tunisie, qui a déjà organisé ses élections législatives, s’apprête à élire son nouveau président de la République. Qui, en Europe, évoque ces enjeux, qui pourtant nous concernent directement ? Une partie de l’avenir de l’Europe se joue aussi dans le pourtour de la Méditerranée, où se concentrent les défis, sans cesse martelés par les médias (migrations, guerres, islamisme radical), mais aussi les fantastiques opportunités qui permettraient de bâtir un destin commun aux deux rives de la « mer du milieu ».

Teaching Arabic Differently

According to the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science
the Arabic language is “in dire need of support and revival through fundamental shifts in the way it is taught,” The debate about the need for language revitalization is not new, of course. So what are the proposed far-reaching solutions to this century-old problem?

Away from home
Kursat Bayham

Migration from rural to urban parts of Turkey, and from eastern parts of the country to the west, started to become widespread in the early 1980s. Industrialisation expelled young agricultural workers from the production cycle, and migrants started seeking their ways to the urban centers for new sources of income. It has continued since: every year, thousands of migrants leave behind their homes in sleepy towns and villages and move to Istanbul, Ankara, and other big cities.

Cross-Border Identities: In a World of Shape-Shifters
Daniel Stächelin

Most people who have either travelled around the world, have family or friends in different countries, or who have grown up speaking multiple languages have felt internal divisions of identity. I'd even go so far as to say that the current modern generation is going through an identity crisis, what with climate change, all the endless wars, and the cultural norms that are arguably changing faster today than they did before the Internet boom. But, to find an identity is beside the point.

Géopolitique de la traduction. Entretien avec Gisèle Sapiro
Lucie Campos

Alors que les marchés éditoriaux s’internationalisent, la sociologie s’intéresse à la traduction des sciences humaines et sociales. Gisèle Sapiro montre les effets du croisement entre les champs académiques et éditoriaux sur les pratiques de traduction.

In Focus

Retrospective: Food

While more joyful evidence of shared culinary heritages is all around us, food, sadly, remains one of the most contentious, divisive and politicized aspects of everyday life. Some of the most intense divisions are, of course, religious in nature: Hindu aversion to beef, Muslim and Jewish aversion to pork and the many fasting rituals in Christianity are some obvious examples. However, there are forms of food prejudice that remain largely under the radar or have become accepted in mainstream parlance. 

The anti-capitalist iftar

The date given for the first “People’s Iftar” or “Earth Table” of Ramadan 2013 in Turkey was Tuesday July 9 at 8:00 pm, in front of Galatasaray High School, in the middle of Istiklal Avenue. Any and all can come and share the meal – this is the founding principle of the “Earth Table”. These communal meals were introduced in 2011 by another organisation called Emek ve Adalet (Bread and Justice) in front of a luxury hotel, to protest a capitalist approach to Ramadan. Today it has evolved into a means for continuing the struggle against the government and a way to reclaim public space.

الطبخ الجزائري يبحث عن هوية!

خلال ندوة في يومية الخبر، أجمع المشاركون، الشيف عز الدين عمروش، ونوال أويحي، والشيف مصطفى بسعدي، وحمداني بختة، على غياب صوت الطبخ الجزائري في العالم مقارنة مع الطبخ المغربي والتونسي، حيث ألقوا اللوم على وزارة السياحة الجزائرية وغياب التنسيق بين الطباخين الجزائريين وفشل الإعلام بترويج المطبخ الجزائري. وأشار الشيف عز الدين عمروش إلى أن الطباخين الجزائريين القدامى تأثروا بالمطبخ الفرنسي وروجوا له على حساب الطبخ الجزائري، بينما استلهم الطباخون المغاربة من المطبخ الاسباني، فاقتبسوا منه أفكارا فقط لتطوير طبخهم التقليدي. وأشارت الطباخة نوال أويحي إلى عدم اهتمام المجتمع الجزائري بالأطباق التقليدية كما يعجب الأجانب بها، وذكر الشيف مصطفى بسعدي دور الإعلام في إبقاء بعض الطباخين ذي خبرات وكفاءات عالية في هذا المجال في الظل.

‘Soup For Syria’ Dips Into Refugees’ Culinary Lore

When faced with almost 1 million needy people, a bowl of soup — even a large vat — doesn’t go a very long way. But Barbara Massaad refuses to let the daunting scale of the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon deter her from doing her small part to help — one bowl of soup at a time. The longtime Beirut resident, founding member of Slow Food Beirut and author of the award-winning cookbooks “Man’oushé,” “Mouneh,” and “Mezze” recently embarked on a new venture: Soup for Syria. The project’s goal is to create a crowd-sourced cookbook of soup recipes and use the proceeds to build and stock a communal pop-up kitchen in the Bekaa Valley, a part of Lebanon that has become home to more than 300,000 Syrian refugees.

Food, recepies and gypsy gastronomy

Promoting food culture, such as enclosing the Mediterranean dietary pattern is part of the recovery process of healthy lifestyles, the need for this improvement in the power of society is marked by the sustained nutrition transition, because to the changes of life, industrialization and globalization of the market. To correct the issues that this entails, it seems appropriate to develop strategies to recover some eating habits capable of ensuring adequate food and it is therefore necessary to rescue the parameters of the ideal of the Mediterranean Diet.

Transmitting Mediterranean food culture through art: a creative interdisciplinary approach

As a qualitative problem solving method, to manage the accelerating phenomenon of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents as well as to promote the Mediterranean Diet and the diversity of the Mediterranean Food Cultures heritage, it is presented a creative interdisciplinary approach through art. Taking into account that young generations are becoming the highest majority of the consumer population in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean countries, it is reported the artist practice and the creative community-based interdisciplinary experience of Plexus International, a network of artists and scientists of various nationalities and disciplines.

L’intégration à l’aune du repas familial

Les pratiques alimentaires des immigrés peuvent-elles servir de critères d’évaluation de leur intégration au pays d’accueil ? Une étude des habitudes culinaires et festives des enfants issus des familles d’origine chinoise décrypte des tendances et des évolutions contrastées selon les situations parentales.

Heritage entrepreneurship. Agency-driven promotion of the Mediterranean diet in Spain
Richard Pfeilstetter

This article explores the role of the agency in the social process that constitutes cultural heritage. By introducing the concept of heritage entrepreneurship to explain the conversion of cultural elements into heritage, we discuss the case of the Mediterranean diet (MD) in Spain. We explore the role of an expert NGO in the recent inclusion of the MD in the UNESCO Representative List of the intangible cultural heritage of Humanity.

The Cultural Dimension of the Mediterranean Diet as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Giovanni Scepi, Pier Luigi Petrillo

The inclusion of the Mediterranean diet on the prestigious UNESCO list is a prime example of the recognition of a common heritage shared by four countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, namely Italy, Spain, Greece and Morocco. These countries presented the first Mediterranean diet nomination to UNESCO in 2009. The inclusion of the Mediterranean diet on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity internationally acknowledged the close link between agricultural and food traditions. 

Food, Identity, and Cultural Reproduction in Immigrant Communities
Fabio Parasecoli

Immigrants cope with the dislocation and disorientation they experience in their new environment by re-creating a sense of place in their domestic environment around food production, preparation, and consumption. Cooking and other food-related practices play a crucial role as they negotiate their presence in post-industrial societies where individuals and groups define their identities around lifestyles and consumer goods.

An educational experience: teaching Spanish Language and Literature through intercultural gastronomy
Rosa María Alonso Fernández

In an educational experiment carried out at a secondary school in Ceuta, our main objective was the development of linguistic competence, through motivation towards and interest in intercultural gastronomy, specifically traditional dishes eaten in the religious festivals of the four cultures living in Ceuta.

Local or localized? Exploring the contributions of Franco-Mediterranean agrifood theory to alternative food research
Sarah Bowen, Tad Mutersbaugh

Notions such as terroir and “Slow Food,” which originated in Mediterranean Europe, have emerged as buzzwords around the globe, becoming commonplace across Europe and economically important in the United States and Canada, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Given the increased global prominence of terroir and regulatory frameworks like geographical indications, we argue that the associated conceptual tools have become more relevant to scholars working within the “alternative food networks” (AFN) framework in the United States and United Kingdom.

Discourses of Distinction in Contemporary Palestinian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Production
Anne Meneley

This article shows how Palestinian producers, faced with an “existential threat” to their own physical locality, seek to re-qualify their goods such as olive oil not only as elite goods based on the discourse of distinction of taste, but also in politically-inflected global discourses of distinction that attend to show how the product is sourced, produced, and exchanged.

EuroMed Media Review

Online applications for 13rd International Istanbul Gastronomy Festival (2015)

The objective of the competition in International Istanbul Gastronomy Festival is to provide channels between Turkish Culinary Cultures and other foreign Culinary Cultures and the Turkish Chefs and  World-Class Chefs will share in the exciting display  and exchange of knowledge that will take place in this competition.

[ENPI CBCMED] FOCUSED - Food culture for a sustainable economic development in mediterranean area

The general idea is about food culture for a sustainable economic development in mediterranean area. More specifically, we could try to do actions, like education, information, training ...ect in local population to preserve the enviroment and the own tradictions in their food productions, both animals and vegetables, to sell high quality food products.

Youth Investigative Journalism Prize

Based on the initiative of cafébabel Greece, the investigative journalism competition for young people – 18-30 years old – will be running until the March 20th 2015. The competition is organised in partnership with the not-for-profit informatics organization SciFY, the Greek National Centre for Scientific Research "Demokritos“ and the online journalists’ social network 


The polysemic meanings of couscous consumption in France
Amina Béji-Bécheur, Nacima Ourahmoune y Nil Özçağlar-Toulouse

This article reflects on consumer representations of a typical southern Mediterranean dish that has remained a centrepiece of cultural encounters ever since it was developed in North Africa: couscous. France—a country whose own cuisine is world-renowned, yet which regularly ranks couscous as one of its top three favourite national dishes, and which hosts the largest North African population in Europe—seemed a fertile site for an investigation of the polysemic meanings attached to couscous, a nomad product embedded in socio-historical interrelationships on both shores of the Mediterranean.

Food: a Cultural Culinary History
Ken Albala

Eating is an indispensable human activity. As a result, whether we realize it or not, the drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Epicure Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said it best: "Gastronomy governs the whole life of man."

"وصفات من المطبخ الفرعوني"
ماجدة المهداوي وعمرو حسين

يتضمن الكتاب عشرة أبواب تشمل وصفات مصرية حديثة وأيضا من مصر القديمة، ومكانة الطعام في حياة المصري القديم ودلالته في الحياة الأخرى والطرق التي كان المصري القديم يطهو بها ويحفظ الطعام بها، وأمثلة لأشهر ولائم التاريخ المصري القديم ووصفات من المطبخ المصري إبان فترة العصر البطلمي والروماني، مع جزء خاص عن الخبز وأنواعه وأجزاء عن طهي اللحوم والطيور والأسماك والبيض والبقول والخضراوات والحلويات وحتى المشروبات. وحاز هذا الكتاب على الجائزة الأولى في فرع تاريخ الطهي في خلال الدورة الرابعة عشرة لمعرض كتب الطبخ جورموند Gourmand