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This restaurant is organizing refugee-hosted dinners in NYC

By Emma Diab
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The folks at Mazeish Grill are in the business of home cooking, no matter how far away home might be.

The cozy, under-the-radar gem, known in the Lower East Side for Middle Eastern staples like their crazy-perfect baklava (the family recipe is over 150 years old!), cumin-dusted fries and crisp falafel rounds, is in the spotlight for their event series, Displaced Dinners.

Twice a week, owner Nasser Jab invites recently resettled refugees to both host and help cook a dinner for a small group of New Yorkers, offering guests a menu from the hosts' homeland and a look into their lives as they share their story.

The supper club’s inaugural chef is a recently resettled Syrian man who made it into the United States just before President Trump issued a controversial executive order that barred the entry of refugees from the war-torn country. He was able to secure work and permanent housing thanks to a helpful guest of Displaced Dinners.

The upcoming event on May 30 will focus on food from the Palestinian diaspora in Latin-America; the menu reflects the blending of both cultures with dishes like kufta- and halloumi cheese-stuffed empanadas and Bedouin chicken barbacoa. The proceeds will go directly to UNRWA, feeding eight Palestinian refugee families throughout the month of Ramadaan.

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