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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Middle East & North Africa / Zaar World Tour 3 NA*ME Challenge
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    Zaar World Tour 3 NA*ME Challenge

    Go to page << Previous Page  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
    Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:19 pm Groupie

    I chose the nation of Oman because I am a tropical meteorologist, and Oman was recently hit by a Category 2 Cyclone Gonu on June 6. Cyclone Gonu, the strongest and deadliest storm to hit Oman since 1977, killed at least 49 people and caused an export slowdown in the country's important oil industry. Damage estimates are as high as $1 billion. At its most intense stage, Gonu was the 2nd most intense storm ever recorded in the Northern Indian Ocean Basin and the most intense to make landfall on the Arabian peninsula. TC Gonu was also the first cyclone recorded in the Gulf of Oman. Gonu dropped about 4 inches of rain on the arid land of Oman. To put this in perspective, Oman's average annual rainfall is only about 100mm, or approximately 4 inches, so Oman received it average annual rainfall over the course of 24-48 hours!

    Moving onto aspects of Oman's heritage and culture, Oman is the world's easternmost Arabian country. The official language is Arabic, and Islam is the predominant religion. Even though Oman is a modern country, western influences are quite restricted. About 75% of Oman is Muslim. As is the case with most Middle Eastern countries, alcohol is only available in some hotels and few restaurants.
    Oman is known for its popular tourist attractions. Jebel Shams is Oman's tallest mountain, highest point, and is a popular destination for camping. Other popular tourist activities include sand skiing in the desert, mountain-climbing, scuba diving, bull fighting and camel racing.

    A very important part of Omani culture is *hospitality*. If invited into an Omani house, a visitor is likely to be greeted with a bowl of dates, qahwa (coffee with cardamom), and fruit. Aroma is intrinsic to the cuisine and comes from the variety of spices that are liberally used, cinnamon, cardamom,cloves,black pepper, onion ,ginger, garlic and lime. The two main religious festivals- Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha feature specially prepared dishes. The principal dish is Shuwa, the preparation of which sometimes whole villages participate. An entire cow or goat is marinated in a mix of dried spices, wrapped in banana leaves and then roasted for over 48 hours in a special underground pit oven. A wide variety of soups can be found in the daily cuisine, made from lentils,vegetable, lamb or chicken. Omanis are also fond of salads made from fresh vegetables, smoked eggplant, tuna, dried fish and watercress.

    This brings me to the dish that I prepared, Sage's Mezroota #172827. This recipe was so different to any thatI've ever made. The onions 'bake' in the midday sun! I left these out for more than an hour (prob 3-4 hours) since it was only 80F here in PA today. Anyway, here it is:
    Bert's Kitchen Witch
    Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:20 pm Groupie

    I chose Egypt, and I tried and enjoyed Egyptian Kebabs#233124

    Egypt is in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip.It is comprised of a vast desert plateau interrupted by Nile valley and delta, Egypt is slightly more than three times the size of New Mexico.
    One of the four great ancient civilizations, Egypt, ruled by powerful pharaohs, bequeathed to Western civilization numerous advances in technology, science, and the arts. For the last two millennia, however, Egypt has served a series of foreign masters—Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, and the British. Formal independence came in 1922, and the remnants of British control ended after World War II.
    Egypt is one of the most fertile areas of Africa, and one of the most fertile of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Because it is so fertile, people came to live in Egypt earlier than in most places, probably around 40,000 years ago. At first there were not very many people, but gradually Egypt became more crowded, so there was more need for a unified government. Around 3000 BC (5000 years ago), Egypt was first unified under one ruler, who was called the Pharaoh.
    People tend to think that Egyptian styles stayed the same for the whole period of Egyptian history, but that's not true. The Egyptians built different kinds of buildings at different times, just like any other group of people.
    In the beginning, they built mainly mastabas, a kind of tomb with a flat roof like a house. Then throughout most of the Old Kingdom, the Egyptians built the pyramid tombs which are now so famous.
    In the Middle Kingdom, the mastaba tomb came back again, although in a more elaborate form for the Pharaohs. No more pyramids were built.

    Then in the New Kingdom there was a lot of building that was not tombs: temples for the gods especially, but also palaces for the Pharaohs.
    Sun Jun 17, 2007 5:55 pm Groupie
    Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco is a country in North Africa with a population of 33,241,259. It has a coast on the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco has international borders with Algeria to the east, Spain to the north (a water [img] border through the Strait and land borders with two small Spanish colonies, Ceuta and Melilla), and Mauritania to the south.
    Coat of arms

    Moroccan cuisine has long been considered as one of the most diversified cuisines in the world. This is a result of the centuries-long interaction of Morocco with the outside world. The cuisine of Morocco is a mix of Berber, Spanish, Corsican, Portuguese, Moorish, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African cuisines. (Wikipedia)

    I made the Moroccan Cauliflower Soup - a wonderful soup recipe that has a complex mix of flavors - has a nice twang, a sweetness, a spicy-ness and saltiness. All around a wonderful soup. I am glad I tried it, may not have done so without this challenge to encourage me!

    KITCHEN TOURISTS! icon_biggrin.gif
    Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:12 pm Groupie
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    I selected Ancient Egypt (because I am a fan of Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody books). The world she and Emerson study is:

    I made Annacia's Ancient Egyptian "date Candy" (For 2 People) #229292

    Ancient Egypt was a long-standing civilization in northeastern Africa. It was concentrated along the middle to lower reaches of the Nile River, reaching its greatest extent in the second millennium BC, during the New Kingdom.
    The more than 3000 year long history of Ancient Egypt has been divided into 8 or 9 periods, sometimes called Kingdoms. Much of what has been learned of domestic life in ancient Egypt results from study of tomb wall paintings.

    For instance, in this photo from the British Museum

    one can view: boat, cat duck
    fish, kilt, Nebamun (for whom the tomb was built), his wife and daughter, a papyrus plant, puffer fish and throw stick.

    The next painting of a banquet shows: bread, duck, figs grapes, hieroglyphs, jugs of wine

    leg of ox and a lotus flower.

    And finally, in honor of the Ancient Egyptian date candy, find the following in the picture: date trees
    ducks, fig trees, fish, Goddess of the Sycamore

    and lotus flowers.

    This has been educational and FUN! Thanks for the challenge.
    Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:10 pm Groupie
    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    For the Hot Plate Houdini's! I made Tunisian Eggs & Peppers

    Tunisia is a Muslim Arab country situated on the North African Mediterranean coast. It borders on Algeria to the west and Libya to the south and east.

    Tunisia was the site of Carthage, a state conquered by the Roman Empire, which withdrew in the 5th century. It was conquered by Arab Muslims in the 7th century, and later became part of the Ottoman Empire.
    In the 19th century it remained officially Ottoman but increasingly independent. It was made a French protectorate in 1881. It achieved independence in 1956, and has had two presidents since.

    While the vast majority of modern Tunisians identify themselves as Arab, most Tunisians descend from indigenous Berbers: less than 20% of the Tunisian gene pool comes from the Middle East.[3] Numerous civilizations have invaded, migrated to, and been assimilated into the population over the millennia. Significant influxes of population have come through conquest by the Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, Ottomans, and French. Many Spanish Moors and Jews also arrived at the end of the 15th century.

    Nearly all Tunisians (98% of the population) are Muslim.[4] There has been a Jewish population on the southern island of Djerba for 2500 years, and though considerably diminished, there remains a small Jewish population in Tunis which is descended from those who fled Spain in the late 15th century. There is also a small indigenous Christian population.[5] Small nomadic indigenous minorities have been mostly assimilated into the larger population.

    Sophisticated gourmets - Tunisians' pride themselves on their fine taste buds. Lamb is the basis of most meat dishes and purchased from one's family butcher after close examination and exhaustive questioning as to the region, season, breed and age.
    Pampered by miles of coast and a unpolluted and generous sea, seafood is a mainstay of the Tunisia diet.
    Tunisian meals are social events and the longer the better. A typical meal would begin with shorba frik- lamb soup with flavored with tomato paste, coriander, parsley and seasonings in which green spring wheat grains are slowly simmered, is served with slices of lemon. Brik, followed by Slata mechouia - grilled green peppers , tomatoes and garlic finely chopped .Spices and olive oil are added and the salad is garnished with tuna fish, hard eggs, olives and capers. Dinner will now begin. Assorted stews follow roasts of lamb, veal or fish, tajine - a rich, flavorsome omelet baked with chopped meat, vegetables and cheese. Fresh salad, fruits, pastries and custards, coffee and tea make the finale.
    Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:38 pm
    Forum Host
    Kumquat the Cat's friend wrote:
    On behalf of the Exotic Epicureans, Kumquat made this Tunisian recipe:

    Tunisian Potato & Olive Salad

    I hope it gets me credit, because it seems that this recipe was reviewed icon_sad.gif Otherwise I'll take it as a general recipe and find another one to make. Actually, I think I blew it. Oh well, no harm done icon_redface.gif icon_rolleyes.gif

    Yes, in fact, this was 1st reviewed 6/29/06 & does not qualify for this challenge. ETA that I see you found something else! icon_biggrin.gif
    Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:17 pm
    Forum Host
    I just reread everything & did some tallying...

    I am very impressed everyone & honored that you've done such a fine job with this challenge! THANK YOU!

    At present, 13 of the 20 countries have been spotlighted. Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Yemen & Bahrain have not been chosen. There are a few teams left to check in....

    GREAT JOB EVERYBODY!! ................

    Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:57 pm
    Forum Host
    For the Whine & Cheese Gang, here is Qatar!

    Qatar (pronounced KAH-ter) occupies a small peninsula that extends into the Persian Gulf from the east side of the Arabian Peninsula. Saudi Arabia is to the west and the United Arab Emirates to the south.

    While the best food is generally found in hotels, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Thai, US and Western cuisine is also available. All the major hotels have good public restaurants and most offer outside catering of high quality; waiters, crockery and cutlery will be provided on request. There are a reasonable number of places to eat in Doha, the capital, including snack bars serving fast foods, as well as the traditional Levantine shawarma and Egyptian foul and taamiyeh. Restaurants are scarce outside the capital.

    I made Alskann's Chicken Shawarma Recipe for this challenge and there were NO leftovers!!


    Of the citizen population, Shi'a Muslims account for approximately 10 percent and Sunni Muslims comprise the remaining 90 percent. When contrasted with other Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, for instance, Qatar has comparatively liberal laws, but is still not as liberal as some of its neighbors like UAE or Bahrain. Women can drive in Qatar, whereas they may not legally drive in Saudi Arabia. Along with the country’s free healthcare to every citizen, every child has free education from kindergarten through to university.

    ...................... ..........................
    Beautiful BC
    Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:42 pm Groupie

    Turkey is situated where Europe meets Asia.

    It covers an area of about 302,535 square miles. That’s about 62,000 square miles LESS than British Columbia, Canada which is the size of France, Germany & the Netherlands combined.

    The main city of Istanbul has more than twice the population of British Columbia and the country has just over twice as many people as the entire population of Canada! This is also a young country with 70% of it’s population being under the age of 30!

    Even though it's on the other side of the World, Turkey shares many outdoor activities in common with British Columbia with it's abundance of mountains, lakes, and oceans.

    Oceans / River Rafting / Mountains

    White Water Kayaking / Skiing


    One big thing British Columbia can’t compete with however is the amazing Mediterranean Sea and the thousands of years of history.

    For this region I have made and reviewed Borek (Turkish Meat Rolls) by Marlitt. It tasted good but if you're never played with Phyllo before, the night you are having company for dinner is probably not the best time to start. icon_confused.gif
    Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:59 pm Groupie
    For the NA*ME challenge, I chose to make Shorba Soup to represent the country of Algeria. It was a very cool learning experience for me and I once again was reminded to keep my mind open to the possibility of liking something more than I think I will. Thanks Sage!

    Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Morocco and Tunisia

    Terrain: Mostly high plateau and desert; some mountains; narrow, discontinuous coastal plain. Mountainous areas subject to severe earthquakes, mud slides.

    Population (2006 est.): 32,854,000.

    Religions: Sunni Muslim (state religion) 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%.

    Education: Literacy (definition--age 15 and over can read and write)--total population (2004 est.), 70%; total; female 60% (2004 est.).

    Agriculture: Products--wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle.

    Industry: Types--petroleum, natural gas, light industries, mining, electrical, petrochemical, food processing, pharmaceuticals, cement, seawater desalination.

    ***ETA: I am a member of the Hot Plate Houdinis......sorry, forgot about that.
    Midwest Maven
    Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:36 pm Groupie
    For the Exotic Epicureans I chose the country Turkey.

    Republic of Turkey, is a Eurasian country that stretches across the Anatolian peninsula in southwest Asia and the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Turkey borders eight countries: Bulgaria to the northwest, Greece to the west, Georgia to the northeast, Armenia, Azerbaijan (the Nakhichevan exclave), and Iran to the east, Iraq and Syria to the southeast. It borders the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Aegean Sea to the west, and the Black Sea to the north. Turkey also contains the Sea of Marmara, which is used by geographers to mark the border between Europe and Asia, thus making Turkey transcontinental.

    The Turkish Flag

    The region comprising modern Turkey has overseen the birth of major civilizations such as the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Because of its strategic location, where two continents meet, Turkey's culture has a unique blend of Eastern and Western tradition, often described as a bridge between the two civilizations.

    Portion of the legendary walls of Troy (VII), identified as the site of the Trojan War (ca. 1200 BCE)

    The Anatolian peninsula (also called Asia Minor), comprising most of modern Turkey, is one of the oldest continually inhabited regions in the world due to its location at the intersection of Asia and Europe. The earliest Neolithic settlements such as Çatalhöyük (Pottery Neolithic), Çayönü (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A to Pottery Neolithic), Nevali Cori (Pre-Pottery Neolithic B), Hacilar (Pottery Neolithic), Göbekli Tepe (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A) and Mersin are considered to be among the earliest human settlements in the world. The settlement of Troy starts in the Neolithic and continues into the Iron Age. Through recorded history, Anatolians have spoken Indo-European, Semitic and Kartvelian languages, as well as many languages of uncertain affiliation. In fact, given the antiquity of the Indo-European Hittite and Luwian languages, some scholars have proposed Anatolia as the hypothetical center from which the Indo-European languages have radiated.

    The recipe from Turkey that I have made and reviewed is
    "Borek (Turkish Meat Rolls)"

    These were delicious and great with yogurt sauce!
    Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:33 am Groupie
    For the

    I choose Syria:

    Syria is a culturally gifted country and has a traditional society. Strong moral and ethical values are placed on family, religion, education and self discipline and respect. Syrians place a high degree on tradition and present themselves well both at home and abroad. It is normal to find Syrian families all over the world who still live there lives as if they were in the Old Country.

    Syrian food mostly consists of Southern Mediterranean, Greek, and Middle Eastern dishes. Some Syrian dishes also evolved from Turkish and French cooking. Dishes like shish kebab, stuffed zucchini, yabra' (stuffed grape leaves, the word yapra' der from the Turkish word 'yaprak' meaning leaf), shawarma, and falafel are very popular in Syria as the food there is diverse in taste and type. Restaurants are usually open (food is served outdoors).

    The climate in Syria is dry and hot, and winters are mild. Because of the country's elevation, snowfall does occasionally occur during winter.

    I made and reviewed "Syrian Chicken With Rice" #233666 by jonesies

    Very easy to make. Liked the flavor of the chicken.
    Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:50 am Groupie
    For Hot Plate Houdinis I visited Morroco.

    Morocco is the fifty-seventh largest country in the world (after Uzbekistan). It is comparable in size to Iraq, and is somewhat larger than the US state of California.

    A dune in MoroccoAlgeria borders Morocco to the east and southeast though the border between the two countries has been closed since 1994. There are also four Spanish enclaves on the Mediterranean coast: Ceuta, Melilla, Peńón de Vélez de la Gomera, Peńón de Alhucemas, and the Chafarinas islands, as well as the disputed islet Perejil. Off the Atlantic coast the Canary Islands belong to Spain, whereas Madeira to the north is Portuguese. To the north, Morocco is bordered by and controls part of the Strait of Gibraltar, giving it power over the waterways in and out of the Mediterranean sea. The Rif mountains occupy the region bordering the Mediterranean from the north-west to the north-east. The Atlas Mountains run down the backbone of the country, from the south west to the north east. Most of the south east portion of the country is in the Sahara Desert and as such is generally sparsely populated and unproductive economically. Most of the population lives to the north of these mountains, while to the south is the desert. To the south, lies the Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony that was annexed by Morocco in 1975 (see Green March).[1] Morocco claims that the Western Sahara is part of its territory and refers to that as its Southern Provinces.

    Morocco's capital city is Rabat; its largest city is its main port, Casablanca.

    I made from Morroco Green and Red Pepper Salad which was perfect for a nice warm day. I enjoyed my visit.
    Mon Jun 18, 2007 12:51 am Groupie
    double post icon_redface.gif
    Mon Jun 18, 2007 3:49 pm Groupie

    I really did post last night, but must have shut the puter down while previewing and never hit post. If it won't count I understand.

    I made Lebanese Cookies #184339 by *Parsley* for :


    Lebanon, officially the Lebanese Republic, is a small, largely mountainous country in the Middle East, located at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east, and Israel to the south. The flag of Lebanon features a cedar in green against a white backdrop, bounded by two horizontal red stripes along the top and bottom.

    Due to its sectarian diversity, Lebanon follows a special political system, known as confessionalism, meant to distribute power as evenly as possible among different sects.

    Until the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the country enjoyed relative calm and prosperity, driven by the tourism, agriculture, and banking sectors of the economy. It was considered the banking capital of the Arab world and was widely known as the "Switzerland of the Middle East" due to its financial power. Lebanon also attracted large numbers of tourists, to the point that the capital Beirut became widely referred to as the "Paris of the Middle East".

    Immediately following the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. By early 2006, a considerable degree of stability had been achieved throughout much of the country, Beirut's reconstruction was almost complete, and an increasing number of foreign tourists were pouring into Lebanon's resorts. However, the 2006 Lebanon War brought mounting civilian and military casualties, extensive damage to civilian infrastructure, and massive population displacement from July 12, 2006 until a ceasefire went into effect on August 14, 2006. As of September 2006, the Lebanese government has been implementing an early recovery plan aimed at reconstructing property destroyed by Israeli attacks in Beirut, Tyre, and other villages in southern Lebanon.

    For the optional I made Turkish Potatoes and Eggs (Patatesli Yumurta) by Happy Hippie for Turkey!
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