Woman opens Levant-style restaurant in Raqqa to revive her city’s culture

This report by Usra Al-Ehmed was published by Jinha Women’s News Agency on 22 February, 2024

Reem Dhiab opened a Levant-style restaurant in Raqqa after moving from Damascus to revive the culture of her city and change perceptions of gender roles.

Reem Dhiab, 37, migrated from Damascus to Raqqa with her two daughters due to economic reasons. Last year, she participated in the labour force by opening a restaurant named “Dallah And Fanjan” in Raqqa. The restaurant offers Levantine cuisine she grew up with in Damascus, “because I want to revive the culture, heritage of my city and my memories there. I tried to reflect Levantine and classical design while decorating the restaurant. It has a quiet and simple atmosphere that takes people back to the past.”

‘I wanted to offer something different’

The dishes cooked by Reeam Dhiab are loved by people in Raqqa. “I wanted to offer something different. My project was appreciated by people and this encouraged me. I cook many famous Levantine dishes, including grilled kebabs. I serve cheese and olive for breakfast. I prefer fresh food, not fast food.”

‘Women participate in all facets of life in Raqqa’

Speaking about the system based on democracy in North and East Syria, she said, “It guarantees all rights of women. In Raqqa, women participate in all facets of life and play an important role in society; they participate in the labour force, develop and realize their projects.”

‘I have changed perceptions of gender roles in society’

Reem Dhiab calls on all women to develop new skills, believe in themselves and participate in the labor force. “Women are seen as weak in society due to the patriarchal mindset. As a woman, I run a restaurant now and I have changed perceptions of gender roles in society. As women, we should be brave and never give up.”

Reem Dhiab wants to open a women’s restaurant. “This project will provide employment opportunities for many women. All employees of this restaurant will be women.”

Unfortunately this video does not contain English subtitles.