International Food Fair at the BA

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Alexandria— The BA Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center (Alex-Med) is organizing an International open-air Food Fair as part of the center’s Gastronomy in Alexandria: A Cosmopolitan Flavor in the Mediterranean program in cooperation with the Anna Lindh Foundation, in the gardens of Villa Antoniadis, 23-24 May 2008, funded by the European Commission.

The event celebrates Alexandria’s once rich array of gastronomical influences (incorporating elements from, among others, French, Italian, Levantine, and Greek cuisine in addition to its own unique Alexandrian flavor), now mostly lost due to various political and economic factors which have caused the city to look within instead of embracing the diversity of the Mediterranean region.

Dr. Mohamed Awad, Director of Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center (Alex-Med) stated that the first day will be dedicated to the experience of food; as visitors and participating cooks explore the numerous food stalls and sample the many dishes that will be categorized by each country. The day will be interspersed with live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and a photographic exhibition. The second will be dedicated to cooking competitions for amateurs and professionals.

Using food as the vehicle for introducing the diverse and vibrant cultures of the Mediterranean, this project encourages Alexandrian and Mediterranean communities to initiate cordial dialogue. The project will also include a cook book that includes interviews with representatives of various Alexandrian universities, and a website which will also contain a discussion board, enabling those outside Egypt to experience Alexandrian gastronomy and culture and share their own.

The Gastronomy in Alexandria program is mostly funded by a grant from the European Committee Delegation to Egypt under the local cultural activities program. It is also one of the Anna Lindh Foundation’s 1001 Actions for Dialogue designed to celebrate the EU European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008. The campaign aims to promote the role of intercultural dialogue to fight racism and xenophobia, challenge extremism, and rediscover common roots and heritage.

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© Bibliotheca Alexandrina