I am a naturalized American, born in Kuwait to Lebanese parents, educated in London, and the US, lived as an expat in Qatar for 7 years, and I am currently living in Michigan. Qatar was the ultimate cultural hub, attracting people from all over the world and serving as a convenient point to travel the world. After several decades abroad, I have learned that the combination of food and hospitality is the most powerful form of communication, breaking barriers and connecting people from every culture and background.
After getting married and raising a family in the U.S., my husband and I decided to pursue an opportunity to work and live in Doha, Qatar, a small wealthy country with a 90% expat population. Despite the surprise of living as an expat and in an effort to make friends and adapt to life in Doha, I began to host brunch style gatherings, inviting people hailing from different ethnicities and backgrounds. Most of my guests quickly reciprocated the invitation and we formed groups where phenomenal dishes were served along with a side dish of captivating stories, creating powerful bonds of friendship and multicultural understanding. The beauty I was exposed to, both in culture and cuisine, prompted me to write “Lunch in Translation.”
“Lunch in Translation” reveals personal and cherished recipes in a traditional cookbook style, while also detailing each of these ladies fascinating backstories. The book offers readers insight for turning routine meals into opportunities to break barriers and build lifelong friendships. The real-life characters include pharmacists, fashion designers, yoga gurus, TV journalists, diplomats, social butterflies, soccer moms, and the neighbors next door. With the expat city of Doha as a backdrop, "Lunch in Translation" demonstrates that we all have a story to tell, and that even diverse cultures have a lot in common—enjoying great food being prime common denominator.
I hope readers discover as much meaning in this book as I have found living it and then writing it.