Kibbeh is the national dish of many countries in the Middle East where refugees have fled from such as Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria respectively. In 2011, an estimated 9 million Syrians were forced to flee their homes because of the outbreak of the Civil War. This is perhaps the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War.
The first time I heard of kibbeh was from a Scottish mature student at the University. It was in her home on the Southside of Glasgow when she cooked for me that I was introduced to kibbeh and tabbouleh, tabbouli. She told me she was of Armenian diaspora. She said her family had come into the UK after the Second World War. I was completely fascinated as I knew nothing about the Armenian people. We do forget how many people around us have refugee heritage and ancestry, even the UKIP leader Nigel Farage's ancestors were refugees from Huguenot background fleeing to England from France to escape religious persecution (The Guardian, May 10 2013). Some of us are able to assimilate and change our names because of our skin colour. Some of us who have been in this country for decades, born and bred will always be seen as immigrants; 'the Other' because of our skin colour.
Anyway, it was only after graduating from University that I attempted to make Kibbeh from scratch , I have to admit I was not happy with the final dish, it was gritty. Hence, I am glad to be given the excuse through Refugee Week to make it again. It was much lovelier this time. Its very much like a falafel that you stuff it in a pitta bread and munch. Enjoy!