In a world brimming with diverse cultures and cuisines, Zaatari: Culinary Traditions of the World’s Largest Syrian Refugee Camp stands as a testament to resilience, community, and the incredible power of food to transcend boundaries. Authored by the talented Karen E. Fisher, this cookbook offers a poignant journey into the heart of the Zaatari refugee camp, showcasing the vibrant tapestry of Syrian culinary heritage amid challenging circumstances.

Fisher’s book is not just a collection of recipes; it’s a profound exploration of culture and identity. Through meticulous storytelling and stunning visuals, she sheds light on the lives of the Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp. The book beautifully captures the essence of their culinary traditions, which serve as a conduit for preserving heritage and finding solace in the midst of displacement.

Prof. Dr. Karen E. Fisher

The cookbook invites readers on a gastronomic adventure, presenting a wide array of authentic recipes passed down through generations. From hearty stews to aromatic spices, each recipe is a celebration of flavors that resonate with the soul. What makes this collection truly exceptional is its authenticity—it’s not just about the food; it’s about the stories woven into every dish. One of the most popular dishes coming out of Syrian cuisine is Shawarma – becoming more accessible in Canada’s ethnic corridors. Try it in our Recipe section and pair it with a Fattoush salad – 

Amid the challenges faced by the refugees, Zaatari portrays the resilience and strength of the human spirit. It showcases how food becomes a catalyst for connection, bonding communities, and providing a sense of belonging. Fisher beautifully captures the moments of joy and the communal spirit that revolve around cooking and sharing meals, despite the harsh realities of their circumstances.

Beyond the recipes, Fisher offers culinary insights, cooking techniques, and anecdotes that provide a deeper understanding of Syrian cuisine. The book is thoughtfully organized, making it accessible for both seasoned chefs and beginners. Each recipe comes with clear instructions and ingredient lists, ensuring that anyone can embark on this culinary journey.

Zaatari – Goose Lane Editions

Zaatari: Culinary Traditions of the World’s Largest Syrian Refugee Camp is more than a cookbook; it’s a tribute to resilience, culture, and the unifying power of food. Fisher’s dedication to preserving and sharing these culinary traditions is both inspiring and humbling. For anyone passionate about cultural exploration through food or simply seeking to broaden their culinary horizons, this book is an absolute gem.

One of the quotes in the back of the book, is Canada’s most outspoken Syrian refugee challenging Canadians to be both inclusive and informed: Tareq Hadhad of Peace by Chocolate in Antigonish, Nova Scotia: “Zaatari is an essential read for those with an appreciation for food; cultural diversity; and narratives of hope, inspiration and humanity.” See our look at Tareq’s journey at 

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In a world where stories often remain unheard, Fisher’s work amplifies the voices and flavors of the Zaatari camp, leaving a lasting impression that goes far beyond the kitchen. It’s a reminder that, even in the most challenging circumstances, the warmth of a shared meal has the power to nourish not just the body but also the spirit. Get a copy at or head to our Giveaway section to win this thought-provoking cookbook.

Zaatari – Goose Lane Editions

Contents and images used with permission by Goose Lane Editions.