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Lifelong Learning Summer Reading List

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Student Summer Reads

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The Gaza Kitchen is a richly illustrated cookbook that explores the distinctive cuisine of the area known prior to 1948 as the Gaza District—and that of the many refugees who came to Gaza in 1948 and have been forced to stay there ever since. In summer 2010, Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt traveled throughout the Gaza Strip to collect the recipes and shoot the stunning photographs presented in the book.

The Gaza Kitchen's 130 recipes codify this little-known part of the Middle Eastern culinary canon for the first time ever-- in any language. But this is not just a cookbook. In its pages, women and men from Gaza tell their stories as they relate to cooking, farming, and the food economy: personal stories, family stories, and descriptions of the broader social and economic system in which they live.

Biography

Laila El-Haddad is a Palestinian-American journalist, author, and policy consultant. She frequently lectures on and writes about the situation in Gaza and the intersection of food and politics and more broadly on the issue of Palestine.  She is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey, and has has been published extensively.  Through her work as a writer and documentarian she provides much-needed insight into the human experience of the region.  In 2014, she featured in the CNN program Parts Unknown with celebrity chef and gastronome Anthony Bourdain as his guide in the Gaza Strip.   From 2003-2007, El-Haddad was the Gaza correspondent for the Al Jazeera English website and co-directed two documentaries, including the award-winning Tunnel Trade.  A graduate of Duke University and the Harvard Kennedy School, she currently lives in Clarksville, Maryland with her husband, their four children and their 5 chickens.