Lebanese food and tradition on display at UNIFIL
An exhibition of traditional Lebanese food and handicraft was held at UNIFIL Headquarters in Naquora on Wednesday 14 December 2011. Twenty-two local cooperatives exhibited diverse, authentic and traditional products from different parts of southern Lebanon.
For the local artisans, the exhibit was another opportunity to showcase their skills, while civilian staff and military members of UNIFIL were able to purchase some unique handcrafted items as gifts for the upcoming holiday season, thereby supporting local handmade crafts, and savouring some of the traditional homemade dishes. A band from UNIFIL's Ghanaian Battalion provided entertainment.
UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas, touring the exhibition that was held at a hall on the seaside grounds of the headquarters of the peacekeeping force, said the fair also presented a very important opportunity "to encourage interaction" between the people of the south and UNIFIL.
The Force Commander added that more exhibitions will be organized in the future, something that Achit Tsagaandorj of UNIFIL Civil Affairs said his team is working on. The officer in charge of the Civil Affairs office, which organized the exhibition in cooperation with the UN Development Program (UNDP), added that efforts are underway to expand the exhibition by encouraging participation of more military components and also by holding more such events across UNIFIL Area of Operation.
Most of the participating cooperatives received assistance through the UNDP programme or UNIFIL Quick Impact Projects which provided equipment and capacity building training.
Khadija Hamoud, from the Roub Talatin Cooperative group, a first-time participant, said she had come, hoping to meet new people, especially members of other cooperatives and UNIFIL. She was also there to see what products the other cooperatives make and learn lessons from them. On 21 September, a similar exhibition was held at UNIFIL as part of activities to commemorate the International Day of Peace.