UNICEF Australia Ambassador Adam Liaw, together with Syrian-Australian chef Sharon Salloum, have launched the 2019 #CookForSyria campaign with a Syrian-inspired cooking demonstration in Sydney.

Professional chefs and household cooks alike are invited to participate in the global initiative throughout August and September. Money raised will go to UNICEF Australia’s Syria Crisis Appeal for Children.

Syria has been afflicted by the conflict for nine years, with eight million children unable to access to vital needs, including clean water, vaccinations, education and psychosocial support. The #CookForSyria campaign has raised over $1.5 million to date. Restaurants and cafes can add a Syrian-inspired twist to a current menu item and donate $5 from each sale or donate $1 per guest who dines in their restaurant.

“Syria has one of the world’s most ancient and cherished cuisines, its possibilities are so rich and exciting,” says Liaw. “This is an opportunity for us all to come together over a meal and do our part to help children who have been affected by the crisis.”

Liaw has travelled to the Middle East with UNICEF to meet young Syrian refugees at Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan.

“I think kids are the same all over the world. When I’m playing with my own kids it feels exactly the same as when I’m playing with the kids in the Azraq or Za’atari refugee camps,” he says. “Children don’t do anything to deserve the situations they are in so anything we can do to help is our duty as adults.

“Every child deserves a fair chance and UNICEF’s work in Syria and surrounding countries is providing much needed help and hope to children and their families.”

Salloum, who co-owns Almond Bar café in Sydney’s Surry Hills says Syrian food is a burst of flavour. “We believe that food is made to share, that anyone is welcome and that you should never eat alone.”

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