Ignored migrant communities are finally starting to be recognised for what they are: residents of this country with plenty to offer it! Our Migrant Community Center- Lebanon has been making similar efforts, and will soon start adding some menu items to some of your favorite restaurants!
When it comes to foreign cuisine, Lebanon is stuck somewhere in the 1970s, as if the only things worth eating were fettuccine Alfredo, steak frites, guacamole, and sweet and sour chicken.
This is particularly disappointing given its substantial and diverse population of foreign nationals. The country is home to around 250,000 migrant domestic workers, for example, most of whom hail from African, South Asian, and Southeast Asian nations like Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. It’s hard not to connect their culinary underrepresentation to the widespread racism against non-Western migrant workers in Lebanon, whom NGOs report suffer routine physical, emotional and verbal abuse at the hands of their employers.
While we have a long way to go in undoing the racism against non-western migrant workers in Lebanon, one cramped restaurant in a trendy Beirut neighborhood is using food to help with the cause.
In one of the quieter alleyways that break off from the mayhem of bar-crowded Armenia Street in Mar Mikhael, Mótto opened the doors to its small dining hall in the summer of 2014.