archive MSA Nour
Ramadan has started. Normally speaking, Muslims would come together every evening for four weeks to break fast with an elaborate meal – the iftar. As this is not possible at the moment, the Refugee Project Maastricht and Islamic student association Nour have thought of something that will still make it special: Ramadan in a box.
“I have previously attended an iftar and it is a great opportunity to bring people from all kinds of cultures together,” says Marlene Wulf, student of European Studies and a member of the Refugee Project Maastricht. “We wanted to organise a large event last year – for which we even received a Diversity Grant (a grant from the UM for diversity projects, ed.). That didn’t go ahead, so now we have thought of something that you can do even with the restrictions.”
The students asked four refugees from the asylum seekers’ centre in Maastricht to share their favourite recipes, one for each week of Ramadan. They recorded a cooking video in the student chaplaincy’s (The Innbetween) kitchen – where the Refugee Project started. “We did have to search for people who wanted to be on camera,” says Sonbul Aram, Health Sciences student and member of MSA Nour’s events committee. “We wanted people from different cultures. We have someone from Afghanistan, Turkey, Nigeria, and Syria.”
Anyone who orders Ramadan in a box, receives a box of ingredients for a dish for two people, the recipe and a link to a video. The list includes Yalangi (Syrian grape leaves, filled with vegetables) and Bolani (filled flatbread from Afghanistan). “We also give more information about the cooks and put photographs of them on the flyers,” says Aram. “During filming, they mainly had to concentrate on the cooking.” The level of difficulty of the recipes differs – from rather simple to reasonably complicated, but it is still doable, says Aram. “We followed the steps while filming, if I can do it then so can everybody else.”