A few weeks ago, Founder’s Common served Middle Eastern food for students, staff, and guests at the Global Ties Dinner.
The dinner was originally to have a “world beat” theme, and offer students a chance to experience dishes from around the world.
“Due to the current climate,” said residential dining manager Roselia Zendejas, “I wanted to produce a theme that connected people while creating a space in which people could come together and have a meal from a part of the world that is in conflict.”
The menu was chosen as a collaboration between the managers and chefs. Recipes were researched on the internet and in cookbooks owned by students.
“When we were choosing the dishes, we tried to find new and different things,” said manager Jessica Molina.
Among the dishes served were braised leg of lamb, minted cucumber yogurt dip, imam bayildi (braised eggplant with tomatoes) and baklava.
“The dinner was a way of drawing attention to different issues, while students ate good food,” said freshwoman Arlette Moreno.
“Even though everyone is different, we always have one thing that unites us: food. You can experience culture better through food than by walking into a museum,” said Molina.
Information about the Middle East was also served to the students. The dining hall was filled with informative maps of the Middle East as well as flyers giving a brief description of the history of the area.
Founder’s Common was decorated to reflect Middle Eastern culture. By the checker’s desk, a low brass table surrounded by gold-embroidered pillows allowed for students to sit and talk, while eating dolmas, pistachios and dates.
In the dining room, a colorful sign read, “We Are All Sisters and Brothers,” the underlying message of the dinner.
“It was our way of taking a stand for peace,” said Zendejas. “I believe it brought people together. The department feels good about generating that kind of good will.”