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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > July 2016 > Matters of taste

Matters of taste


Armenia’s culinary heritage

Before Syrians had to flee, Iraqis fled. Before the Iraqis fled, Palestinians had to. A hundred years ago, Armenians were driven out of their Ottoman homelands by the young Turks. Waves of refugees have washed into Lebanon; many have stayed.

In May, in the Burj Hammud neighbourhood of Beirut where the Armenians settled, Armenian flags fluttered from every building and graffi ti stencils of a gobbling turkey head were sprayed on the walls. It is a century since a genocide that has not been forgotten—nor acknowledged by its perpetrator. My friend Aline Kamakian grew up in a proudly Armenian household during Lebanon’s civil war. Her grandmother was nine when she escaped, rescued by a French ship from Musa Dagh, a region where the Armenians bravely resisted forced deportation. During Aline’s childhood, “Everything revolved around food. At breakfast we discussed what we would have for lunch. At lunch it was ‘what’s for dinner?’ This was our culture.” Cooking, kitchen and hearth were touchstones: mothers, grandmothers and aunts were the guardians of their heritage.

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In Prospect’s July issue: In her final issue as Editor Bronwen Maddox explores the legacy of former Prime Minister Tony Blair having spoken with him at a Prospect event on 24th May. She examines his domestic policy, the lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan and what the future holds for the Labour Party. The Chancellor George Osborne lays down his view on why the public should to “Remain” in the EU, and Ian Hargreaves takes a close look at what is happening at the BBC. Also in this issue: Former Conservative leader David Davis suggests he can see a very narrow set of circumstances that might push him towards running for the party leadership again, William Skidelsky writes about why tennis is the best sport and Vanora Bennett looks at Svetlana Alexievich’s extraordinary work recording Russia’s lost voices.