As war raged in Syria, many millions were displaced from their homes, towns, cities and country. A catastrophic refugee crisis unfolded with so many seeking safety in neighbouring countries and making arduous and dangerous trips across land and sea to escape their dire living conditions. Starting late 2015, tens of thousands of Syrian persons and families who had been uprooted from their homes began arriving in Canada to settle and begin new lives. With many coming to British Columbia, it became clear that their success in Canada was contingent on creating opportunities for the most vulnerable among them. With limited employment opportunities and the challenges of adapting in an entirely different society (not to mention the language barrier for many newcomers), it became imperative to lend a helping hand.
Tayybeh began as an initiative that organizes ticketed pop-up Syrian dinners across the Lower Mainland with proceeds supporting newcomer Syrian women chefs who masterfully prepared exquisite buffets featuring authentic family recipes for hundreds of diners at community centres, schools, places of worship. For over two years, Tayybeh was the hottest ticket in Vancouver's dining scene with so many asking for the food to be available outside the dinners. Tayybeh was officially launched as a social enterprise to provide steady employment opportunities for Syrian newcomer women as well as an opportunity for community building and social integration.
In a short five years, Tayybeh has grown by leaps and bounds, employing numerous women who have become notable chefs in the city's culinary scene. Tayybeh's catering service is now one of Vancouver's most recognized and celebrated providers of premium Middle Eastern fare at office lunches, banquets, conferences, receptions, social events, weddings, and other functions. Tayybeh's retail foods, including dips, pita chips, spreads, and frozen meals are a growing staple in the homes of Vancouverites. Whether it's Tayybeh Grillz's burgers and kebabs or our specialty sweet red pepper Muhammarah, our numerous Syrian food products have been huge hits thanks to the support of the city's many foodies!
Despite the global pandemic which has crippled businesses, shuttered catering services, and changed the way we eat, Tayybeh has withstood the pressure thanks to the remarkable resilience and perseverance of the all-women team of Tayybeh and the generous support of our communities and friends throughout the city and beyond.