Sudanese refugees try to crack Cairo culinary scene to sustain livelihoods

Sudanese refugees try to crack Cairo culinary scene to sustain livelihoods
Photo: Cairo restaurants / Source: Shutterstock

Egypt, a neighboring country to Sudan, has long been a favored destination for Sudanese refugees. But making a living in Egypt is often challenging prompting many to turn to the foods of their homeland to start restaurants and make ends meet. 

"I'm targeting the Egyptian consumer, I want them to get to know Sudanese culture," Julie Samir told the AFP.  

Samir and her two children have reportedly been living in Cairo for a year after fleeing their war-torn country. The 42-year-old recently opened an eatery called 'Kush Children's Village' on the lawn of an upscale sports club.

 "The name was my father's idea, inspired by the Bible," she told AFP. The Kingdom of Kush spanned modern-day Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia. 

The restaurant features foods from all three countries but its staff consists entirely of Sudanese refugees Samir met through social media. 

The signature dish, agashe, consists of skewers of meat with a spicy peanut dry rub cooked over glowing embers. 

The restaurant’s chef, a former caterer, notes that Cairo’s restaurant industry is much more competitive than in Sudan. There are already many restaurants started by Syrians who fled their conflict-prone country.

But some Sudanese entrepreneurs are successfully cracking Cairo’s culinary scene. 

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