Painstaking Battle for Freedom Can Be Made Beautiful By People’s Solidarity

With all of the unrest in Northern Africa and the Middle East, the international climate has been strained. But at the same time, it’s been absolutely joyful. Following the protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, and Libya has been an amazing experience because the people have been so deeply empowered by them.

There are many freedoms and advantages the First World countries enjoy, perhaps moreso than we even realize. The fact that we can go to a grocery store – whatever grocery store we choose – and spend our own money on whatever food we want to feed ourselves and our families is one of those freedoms. This isn’t to say that we aren’t dealing with our own problems, because of course we are. Every country, no matter how affluent, has it’s own problems. One look at Rhode Island and Wisconsin shows just one of the issues that America is currently facing. However, we have our freedom. It’s only right that the rest of the world have the same.

Seeing the coverage of the protests on NPR.orghas been so beautiful. Even though it’s horrifying to see the lengths that governments will go to in order to quiet their people’s dissent, seeing the humanitarian efforts and the way the Libyan Army has defected and joined the people. Well, it’s a triumph in so many ways. Where it will go from here remains to be seen, but the people are taking their freedom by force, and the painstaking battle for freedom can be the start of something beautiful.

Because of all of this, I decided to cook a Libyan/Tunisian meal with several courses. It was a show of solidarity with the people of North Africa and a nod to all of their efforts. The food was delicious, and I will share the recipes here, but I hope that making these recipes and sharing them with loved ones will encourage the sharing of information and the furthering of freedom.

Please, make these recipes and enjoy, but also remember all those who have been killed in the protests, and celebrate the freedom that the people of Libya are fighting so hard to achieve.

Libyan Tahini Cumin Dip

2 cloves garlic 1 t sea salt 1 1/4 cups Greek Yogurt (plain)

8 T tahini paste Juice of one lemon 1 1/2 t ground cumin

1. Grind up salt and garlic cloves with a mortar and pestle. (I used the outside of a melon baller and a metal bowl, and it worked just fine!) Combine with other ingredients and chill until needed. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and warm pita breads!

For additional recipes and information, see The Tranquil Kitchen at