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It is the first time I post a blog from the plane which is kind of fun even if the connection sucks. Anyway, I am on my way to Ohio via NYC to present at a new conference which sounds both interesting and fun and my presentation is about Syrian women who use their cooking skills to earn money without having to leave their home by preparing vegetables for Souk el-Tanabel, or the lazy people’s souk. I once wrote briefly about it for Saveur magazine and while researching the piece, I went to visit Besbuss, an amazing lady who chops parsley for a living to sustain herself and her two boys. They lived in Kafar Sousseh which has been heavily affected by the uprising and the regime’s monstrous response to it. I do hope she and her boys are OK. They must be young men now. In any case, if any of you are in Ohio, come and join us and if not, I am sure some of the presentations will be posted online. Until then, I leave you with a picture of one of the displays in the souk of cored, shelled and peeled vegetables. Each type will have been prepared by one woman whose speciality will be coring, or peeling, or chopping, or shelling. Almost as if you had your own chef but remotely!