Obaida Dalati (to the right) and his partners cooked food for the event. Photo: Eden Gao

Syria: – I think most of us will go back home

If the war in Syria ends, refugee Obaida Dalati plan is to return to his homeland.

 By CASSIE YANG and EDEN GAO (photo)

Molde international students enjoying traditional Syria food in the church basement. Photo: Eden Ga

Last Saturdays’s International Café (KIA) in the basement of Molde cathedral was quite an unforgettable experience for Molde’s international students. They gathered together with Norwegians and refugees from Syria and enjoyed traditional Syrian food made by voluntary refugees from Syria. During the meal, Molde international students also won the prize of a quiz about Syrian culture.

For more information about Syria, a few questions was asked to Obaida Dalati who was one of the voluntary chefs on the event.

– What is happening in your home country now?

– People in Syria have been suffering in a war between the country government and objectors since 2011. The corruption of the government lead to public discontent, resentment and protest. Also many other complicated reasons finally sped up the war.

– Why did you choose to move away from your home country?

– Because of the war, we lost our job and have no place to stay in Syria. What’s more, food and basic medicines are in short supply. We can’t survive there. So we have no choice but to move away.

– Comparing your life before in Syria and now in Norway, what’s the difference?

Photo: Eden Gao
Photo: Eden Gao

– Actually, we live better now here in Norway. Before in Syria, we had poor human rights situation: no free elections and no freedom of speech. Women and children suffered from discrimination. Because of the war, our living conditions became even worse. But since we move here, the government of Norway helped us by offering money and food for survival. What’s more, the government gave us the chance to learn Norwegian language and continue to accept education here. Now, most of us have work to support ourselves.

– If the war in Syria finishes, will you go back home?

– Of course, I will go back home. I think most of us will go back home because we have enterprises in Syria and some of our family members are still at home.

Here is a recipe for kibbeh – a staple Syria dish with golden brown color – that was offered by the event’s chefs from Syria:

The traditional Syria food served in the International Café. Photo: Eden Gao
The traditional Syria food served in the International Café. Photo: Eden Gao



500 gram lean ground beef

500 gram bulgur

2 tsp mashed onion

2 tsp cooking oil

1/2 tsp Bharat (Syrian spice mix)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt


  1. Wash and dry the bulgur and set it aside for 30 minutes. During the time, remember to sprinkle some water over the groats every 5-10 minutes (to let it absorb enough water and be soft).
  2. Add all the ingredients to the bulgur and mix them well with your hands. You may need to add some water during the process if it is very thick.
  3. Press the dough evenly on the pan.
  4. Cut the pressed dough into diamond patterns.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200 °C.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and then broil 3-5 minutes until golden brown.