16 ZARQA, JORDAN
A women’s refugee cooking collective,
ON A TUESDAY MORNING, A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN bustles into a kitchen in the town of Zarqa, Jordan, just outside Amman, holding multiple bags of meat. Around the kitchen, orders are scrawled on sticky notes and empty boxes. Today, she has to make 70 kibbeh, a type of fried Levantine meat croquette, and she appears completely at ease.
“It’ll take four hours,” she estimates, and rolls up her sleeves. She puts away her things. The bottom of her headscarf is neatly tucked inside her tunic. She combines bulgur wheat with spoonfuls of crushed red pepper, flour, black pepper, and lamb, and kneads the mix into a dough, animatedly narrating the process as she reaches for ingredients. She works for a women-led cooking collective in Jordan, operated by a nonprofit organization, where a small group of Syrian
From top: The city of Zarqa, Jordan, just a short drive from the capital of Amman; the cooks prepare a biryani for lunch. JORDAN Zarqa