Barbara Lubin and Um Hassan eating breakfast
MECA Director Barbara Lubin joined me for a site visit to the Masara Cafeteria project in April.
We arrived at 8am but the women had already finished a batch of zaatar pies, cooked termos (lupini beans), and were getting ready to put fresh poprcorn in bags!
Barbara and I chatted with the women about the project and shared our appreciation for their hard work. Each woman told Barbara a bit about herself and her family. One woman is a widow, another's husband is disabled. They spoke of their children, some who have been arrested and are even now sitting in Israeli jails. Barbara in turn told them about her four children and seven grandchildren.
The women who run the cafeteria are dedicated volunteers. They began receiving small stipends for their efforts this year thanks to your support. It's just enough to help them purchase some of the necessities like flour, milk, and fresh fruits and vegetables so they can provide healthy food to their own families at home.
We talked about the importance of a good breakfast to children's development. We listened to updates about the village and its weekly demonstrations against the Apartheid wall and illegal Israeli settlements that are taking their land. And then we ate. In addition to the food made for the day, we also had the chance to sample a traditional Palestinian pastry called "malateet" made with milk, eggs, flour, and anise seeds. The women were preparing the dough for the children tomorrow but baked up one tray for us to try. Um Hasan smiled as she explained how the children think of it as a sweet but they are getting protein and nutrients too.
It was Barbara's first visit to the cafeteria and she left full of inspiration (and delicious food!).
Thank you for support!
Bagging the popcorn
Protein boost: lupini and garbanzo beans