180101-Rola-Jordan-Lunch-In-Translation-Book-Cover-Rev1 (3)_Page_1.jpeg

I embarked on this project years ago with the purpose of telling the stories of the women I met through food.  Lunch in Translation is a collection of personal stories- each attached to a personal family recipe.  

I married my husband in 1994. Just a year later, I graduated from pharmacy school and became a mother and a pharmacist all at once.  Eleven years later, my husband and I relocated our family, moving from suburban Michigan across the world to Qatar.  I looked forward to the prospect of enjoying life at a slower and saner pace. I was confident that we would meet people and make new friends over many dinner tables, at various backyard gatherings, and in warm kitchens that we had yet to discover.

I realized that a large part of my family’s experience in Qatar would come from integrating with and befriending the expats and locals in Qatar. With my husband Donald establishing himself in the business community, the responsibility of facilitating our family’s integration into the new community and ensuring that our time there was positive, fun, and educational would fall on me.  I was up to the task.

I applied what I learned from my grandparents and parents: Extending hospitality through coffee/breakfast/lunch/dinner invitations was the way to transcend cultural differences. No matter their backgrounds, their views, their beliefs or their opinions, everybody likes to eat and most people cannot resist the good mood that comes with good food. Breaking bread is so much more than just savory flavors. With good food also comes opportunity for good company, new friendships, invaluable conversations and priceless relationships.

Lunch in Translation is the story of these experiences, woven into recipes for you to enjoy. The relationships I forged at my table with my group of friends would come to define my time overseas and color my life in ways I could not have imagined. For us, the kitchen was a safe space--a place where we could share our stories, laugh, and cry together. Lunch in Translation is all about sharing that experience with you.

Welcome to our club. 

An inspiring and memorable journey around the world. Rola's table draws you in from the first page and keeps you engaged (and hungry) until the very last. The laughter...the tears...the sights and smells...it all feels close and familiar - like you're sharing a meal with friends you've known forever. Required reading, not just for every home chef, but also for women and girls looking to lay back and catch up with their girlfriends after a long week. A must read."

/  jenna hage-hassan  /