my lebanese family cookbook, alice's kitchen: traditional lebanese cooking, was launched into the world in a fabulous way by being first excerpted in Aramco World magazine, Jan/Feb. 1997, in an article titled "Memories of a Lebanese Garden", which i wrote and illustrated using photos transferred onto paper with acrylic paint and collage. this was marvelous—our book received great international exposure, as many thousands of copies were distributed across the globe!
letters poured in from people all over the world who wanted to connect—very grateful to see positive images of arabs for a change, and delighted to find recipes their grandmothers made but had been long lost, and to share that the people in the photo illustrations reminded them of their fathers, uncles, sisters, and so on. and most of all, they wrote love letters sharing their own beautiful family stories. our story brought tears to their eyes and their letters and stories brought tears to our eyes. this was more than we ever could have imagined and such a huge blessing and gift! it expanded my family far beyond my own. friendships were made that continue to this day, with love being the essence of it all—expressed through making food with love and sharing it with generosity and beauty.
a few days ago my dear iraqi friend, aseel, phoned up to ask if i'd seen the latest issue (Nov/Dec) of the now titled, Saudi Aramco World and to congratulate me. this issue has a 2010 calendar insert celebrating 60 years of publishing their exquisite publication. my illustrated cover from the 1997 issue is the image chosen for their 1990s decade! my mother and i were "cover girls" and their choice of this issue to represent a decade is an honor and a delight! alice's spirit lives on and travels around the world!!! we are "cover girls" once again!