Multinational Women Cook Up Delicacies in Akranes Skip to content

Multinational Women Cook Up Delicacies in Akranes

The restaurant Veröldin okkar (“Our World”), known as mother’s kitchen, opened in Akranes in west Iceland last month and has proven popular among locals.


From Akranes. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The restaurant’s purpose is to provide employment for and break the social isolation of immigrant women and at the same time offer guests a selection of multinational dishes, Morgunbladid reports.

“It was my idea; I’m a genius,” laughed the project’s initiator Amal Tamimi. “There are many unemployed women here and it is a known fact that those who are unemployed are at a greater risk of becoming socially isolated, which can lead to various problems, such as anxiety, depression and social phobia.”

“I’ve been searching for suitable facilities since March and finally it has become reality,” Tamimi said. The restaurant is inside a house which used to facilitate the café Skrúdgardurinn. Four women are working there as full-time cooks, two from Palestine, one from Poland and one from Iceland.

“We have been showered with congratulations and Akranes locals are happy with the initiative. I’m always so optimistic that I want to open more such restaurants if it proves successful. Hopefully up to 30 women can participate in the project,” Tamimi said.

The menu contains various meat, fish and vegetarian dishes, none of which costs more than ISK 1,590 (USD 14, EUR 10). At lunch there is a buffet for ISK 1,350 (USD 12, EUR 9).

“I plan to have a guest cook from Thailand soon and organize a number of events which can be followed on Facebook,” Tamimi said.

Tamimi is the managing director of the Jafnréttishús Equality Center, which launched the project. It is supported by the Ministry for Social Affairs, the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, the Employment Development Fund for Women, the Akranes Red Cross, the Akranes municipality and the West Iceland Directorate of Labor.

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