The AJDS is very honoured to host Laila El-Haddad on a tour of Australia in the first two weeks of April, 2017.
El-Haddad is an award-winning Palestinian writer, social activist, and public speaker, who frequently lectures on the situation in Gaza, the intersection of food and politics, and contemporary Islam. She is the author of Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between and, co-author of the critically acclaimed The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey. She is also a policy advisor with al-Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network.
Through her work as a writer and documentarian El-Haddad provides much-needed insight into the human experience of the region. She recently guided Anthony Bourdain through Gaza on his show, Parts Unknown, in an episode exploring “Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza”. From 2003-2007, El-Haddad was the Gaza correspondent for the Al Jazeera English website and a regular contributor to the BBC World Service. During this time, she co-directed two Gaza-based documentaries, including the Tunnel Trade. A graduate of Duke University and the Harvard Kennedy School, she is the recipient of the Clinton Scholarship, as well as the Inspiration for Hope and the Literary Leadership Awards. Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents from Gaza, she currently lives in Clarksville, Maryland with her husband and their three children. You will frequently find her poking around people’s kitchens, in a forest, or on a basketball court.
The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey is a full-colour cookbook which serves as an introduction to daily life in the embattled Gaza Strip. It is a visit to the intimate everyday spaces that never appear in the news. The book has received incredible reviews from media as diverse as The New York Times, the Washington Post, BBC World News, Bon Appetit Magazine and the Jewish Daily Forward.
A revised edition of the cookbook was released in 2016 from Just World Books, featuring more recipes, photos and information about Gaza’s agriculture and food security, as well as a fantastic new layout.
Read more press reviews here. Read interviews with Laila about The Gaza Kitchen in Mondoweiss, Cooking up a Story, and watch an interview with El-Haddad about The Gaza Kitchen here. Watch El-Haddad in an interview about her book, Gaza Mom, here and here.
The Gaza Kitchen contributes to a recent flux in writing and publishing of material on Palestinian food and culinary traditions. Read a brief account of Palestinian cuisine’s comeback.
Politics and Parenting in Palestine: Laila El-Haddad at the Wheeler Centre: Wednesday, 5 April 6:15-7:15.
Melbourne Food and Wine Festival: Laila El-Haddad Gazan Cuisine: Thursday, 6 April, 6:30pm. Book your tickets now or visit our event page.
There will be other exciting speaking and cooking events. Laila will be visiting a few cities while she is here, so stay tuned for more information and events near you.
For media inquiries or if you are interested in co-hosting an event, please contact the AJDS community organiser, Yael, on 0423-234-069.