[MEI Salon] Discovering Arabic Culture through Cuisine


[MEI Salon] Discovering Arabic Culture through Cuisine


[MEI Salon] Discovering Arabic Culture through Cuisine

The Middle East Institute invites you to MEI Salon, a series of special events conducted in a casual relaxed setting aimed at making Middle Eastern culture more accessible to everyone. We strip away the academic jargon, and keep things light-hearted and interactive with topics that range from the sublime to the ridiculous.


Arabic culture has a long and deep history and has become popular in many countries and regions. One of the most important elements of this culture is food. Arabic food is not “just” food for Arabs. Beyond meeting survival needs, it represents a set of values and attributes. There is a complex yet strong relationship between culture, food and society. This relationship tells us a lot about Arabs themselves. Their food choices depict stories of families, migrants, assimilation, resistance, and personal as well as group identity. There are emotional connections, a sense of belonging and ethnic pride and religious beliefs inscribed in food. Traditions and customs are also part of the cuisine. In many ways, Arabic cuisine plays a vital role in Arabic culture, not only in social, religious and traditional life, but in the political and economic spheres as well.

At this event, you’ll get a chance to prepare simple Arabic dishes and drinks after the presentation. Light Arabic refreshments will also be served. 

Event Details
Date & Time

Ms Zeinab Hendawi
Arabic Instructor
Centre for Language Studies,
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
National University of Singapore

MEI Conference Room, Level 6
Block B, 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace
Singapore 119620

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Edward Yong
edward yong
Russell Darnley
Russell Darnley
Suzanne Bakkour
Quek Mei Ling
Suzanne Bakkour
Oteng Ntsweng
aseem pahuja
Ivan Panovic
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About the Speaker(s)

Ms Zeinab Hendawi teaches Arabic at the Centre for Language Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at National University of Singapore since July 2018. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Aleppo in her native country, Syria. She obtained her MA in TASOL (Teaching Arabic to Speakers of Other Languages) in 2018 at the Universal American University, Manhattan Beach, California. She is also TASOL Certified from the Education Canada College in Montreal. Ms Hendawi has also received numerous Certificates of Arabic Classroom Professional Development from the Aldeen Foundation in Pasadena.

A native speaker of Arabic who has excellent English communication skills, she is well-informed about theories of foreign language teaching and learning, and highly-versed in teaching Arabic to non-native speakers. She started teaching Arabic at the External Language Programme during the July 2018 intake. Prior to joining NUS in 2018, she worked for several years as a part-time Arabic lecturer at a Singapore company, and also taught the language at an external language programme at international schools (GESS and TTS).

Ms Hendawi’s research focused on the challenges and directions of teaching Arabic oral skills and was published by Universal American University in 2018. She is currently working on a book on implementing Arabic Culture into Arabic language teaching.