Seniors share recipes and stories from home

Middle Eastern recipes in the ISSofBC Share What We Know recipe resource book

How to make traditional Syrian meat pies (Lahem Ajeen) just got easier for families wanting a taste from home with the help of a new recipe book created by ISSofBC’s Arabic speaking Seniors/Older Adults Peer Support Group in Surrey and Burnaby.

Sharing What We Know is a recipe resource book designed by Arabic seniors for Arabic speaking newcomers who stay at the ISSofBC Welcome Centre.

Through funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, the book contains family recipes contributed by seniors and the names and locations of stores where the ingredients can be purchased in the cities of Burnaby and Surrey.

The book also contains stories from contributors, their journey’s to Canada and the memories the recipes evoke when preparing and eating meals with their families.

“[Lahem Ajeen] is a special recipe for special occasions….I have the feeling of eating with my family. We used to meet every two weeks, but now we are far away. This recipe brings memories of the 70-80’s when we had good times, but we have to be thankful that we are still alive and healthy. Here it is safer than our country,” said contributor Yahia originally from Aleppo in Syria.

Many ISSofBC volunteers and several practicum students from UBC Land and Food Systems 360 were engaged in supporting the seniors to create the recipe resource. UBC students created maps and available nutritional resources in the Lower Mainland with a focus in Guilford-Surrey and South and East Burnaby. Other practicum students recorded the senior’s stories of settlement and many Arabic speaking volunteers translated recipes and resource information.


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