Culture, Craft & Cuisine

Feeding The Soul

It has been a challenge adjusting to life in Nebraska for Shahab Bashar and his family. They are Yazidi refugees from Iraq who were forced to flee after multiple genocides against the Yazidi population. In 2017, the family settled in Lincoln, home to some 3-thousand Yazidis, the largest such community in the US. At first, language, food and cultural differences led to culture shock. Now, Bashar helps his fellow immigrants from Iraq and other, mostly Arabic, countries adjust to life in the US. Part of the adaptation is built around maintaining ties to the rich culture they left behind while embracing new, American traditions. Food is a key cultural touchstone to their homeland that provides a direct connection between the soul and the soil.

Michele Wolford


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