What I’m Reading this Morning…{the importance of grain to Syria}

How Syrian Bakers Are Making Bread Against All Odds

“‘Bakeries are usually the most crowded places in a bazaar,’ says Raoul. Control of them is vital to both the government and the rebels. This makes them the perfect target for attacks on civilians aimed at starving the population and breaking their morale.”

Photo by Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP/Getty Images

Like many others all over the world, I’m watching one of the largest humanitarian crises of our time unfold. Stories of bombings, refugees fleeing, despair, starvation…it’s all just one click away on most news sites. I try to keep a balance of holding space for the suffering, while not becoming consumed by it – after all, I have a life to live as well, and staying present to my own circumstances helps me to be productive and get my work done.

I found this article today, and it reminded me that wheat and grain is such a vital part of current events and conflicts. In the United States, we have a luxury to choose to “avoid gluten” or “cut wheat from (our) diets.” We have a perspective on food that is informed by the vast amount of choices that we have on any given day, at the grocery store, at a farmers market, at a local convenience store, or even in our own garden.

At the very moment that someone says to me, “Oh I’ve cut bread from my diet…” there is another man on the other side of the world in Syria who is risking his life to smuggle flour to a bakery, so that a family in Douma can have pita breads for their next meal.

Such perspective, huh?



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