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We were born and raised in Aleppo.

Once named Beroea, by Alexander the Great in the fourth Century BC, Aleppo appears to have been inhabited as long ago as 5000 BC, and has gone by many other names, including Khalpe, Khalibon, Halab, and Alep.

 

For hundreds of years Aleppo was the largest city in the Syrian region, and one of the largest cities on the Levant. Before the Syrian war broke out in 2011, Aleppo was beautiful -- an eclectic mix of ancient architectural styles, dotted with temples, and alight at night.

 

Six years into the war, Aleppo has been destroyed by government forces and armed rebels, and we don’t even recognize the city we know and love.

 

Growing up in Syria, we never thought that one day we would have to flee our home, maybe forever. But in 2012 our building was bombed, and we realized that the situation was too dangerous and we had to go.

 

We said goodbye to our families and left Aleppo in 2012. We spent three years in Istanbul Turkey, where we welcomed our daughter Sally. But we were never settled and never home, because we weren’t allowed to stay in Turkey and we always knew we would one day have to leave.

 

Thankfully Noor’s uncle Walid, who lives in Scarborough, learned about the Canadian private refugee sponsorship program, and we came to Toronto through this program in July 2016.

 

We love Canada. It’s magical. We never imagined there was a place full of people so warm, welcoming, and supportive.

But we miss Syria, and we miss Aleppo. We miss our families, the sights and sounds and smells of the city, and we miss the food. There is so much in food. Fundamentally food is sustenance and food is delicious. Food is also love, family, friendship, and culture.

 

The cuisine of Aleppo is unique in the Middle East and even in Syria. Aleppo food is world renowned.

We want to bring that little bit of Aleppo to Toronto, the warmth, the love, the friendship, the family – the food - to share it with you.

 

These are the meals we cooked with our families in our homes in Syria. These are the meals our mothers made us when we were children and taught us how to make ourselves.

 

This little business, Beroea Kitchen, is about food. It’s also about culture, and sharing, and a story. Come eat our food, be part of our story, be part of our family. Be part of Beroea Kitchen.

 

Noor & Amir

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