Rather than approaching conflict resolution in a war shattered country, Souk el Tayeb uses an approach of looking for similarities leaving differences of religion and politics aside and looking for a common ground--the land, the agriculture, and the food production. Lebanon has a distinct regional cuisine and agriculture.
- Souk el Tayeb's producers-only farmers market was created in June 2004 in urban areas where a demand and a purchasing power exist.
- In 2007, it created 'Food & Feast'--regional one day festivals to celebrate regional food diversity and traditions. Parallel projects were also launched: educational projects in schools and universities, international exchange programs, awareness campaigns, and information on product sales.
- In November 2009, Souk el Tayeb created Tawlet, an open kitchen in the city where every day a different women cook or producer from a different region prepares typical meal, thus creating a sustainable income generating activity along with a social venture and showcasing this woman's products transforming the producer into a business person and perpetuating tradition through a demand and a business activity.
Make Food, not War is a new project that will bring together all existing initiatives--farmers markets, regional food festivals, awareness campaigns, producers' kitchen--to celebrate the common ground of land, agriculture, and food production and traditions, fostering similarities beyond differences.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Souk el Tayeb will identify representative regions, producers and local authorities--12 events in 12 regions and create tailor-made events in each region including a local farmers market (100 producers), a food competition (20 producers), cultural and historical tours (15 guides), typical regional lunch (30 women cooks), kids activities (10 animators), entertainment and local parades (30 entertainer)
- Every event is broadcasted as a live television show employing a team of 30 people.
- Pre-event workshops will employ a team of 10 field officers preparing all teams and participants to the event
- Post-event stories and experiences will be compiled in a book and video production of Lebanon's regions and traditions employing an editorial team of 2 1 person for editing, 1 person for photos, and 1 person for design and production
- The final event in Beirut is a gathering between all previous events and mainly all local political parties.
Lebanon is a country of diversity, paradox and differences that often lead to problems and wars, adding to that regional tensions and conflicts. Make food Not War is about finding a common ground where farmers and producers from a war shattered country like Lebanon, can gather around similarities beyond differences--the land, the product of the land and the cuisine, agriculture and food production, so they can be productive in their rural areas and gain social and economic recognition. It is about war shattered communities that are looking for a common ground. It is about lack of work opportunities in rural areas and how to provide access to markets. And it is about how to stop the spread of environmentally damaging agricultural practices and how to enforce sustainable and organic agricultural practices, as well as the loss of traditions and traditional food and the way to rediscover this heritage.