Ahmed is a 26 years old man. He is from Yabroud, Syria. After Assad’s army took the city from the rebels he had to escape to the mountains in the borders with Lebanon in order to save his life. Soon after he decided that he had to go to Europe if he wanted to be recognised as a refugee and be able to start a new life without fear of persecution.

When he lived in Yabroud one of his favourite activities was to go in the mountains with his friends and hunt small birds. After they finished hunting they would set up a fire and spend the evening talking while grilling and drinking máte.

After reaching Greece he found the borders closed for Syrian refugees. If he wanted to get out of Greece his sole option was to apply for the EU asylum relocation program and so he did. He was finally relocated to Romania and is now living at a reception centre awaiting the decision to his asylum application.

In order to make his every-day life more pleasant while he awaits for the answer of the Romanian authorities, he occasionally grills and uses the same recipe he learned in Yabroud which has been handed down to him by his mother.


Here is the recipe:


  • 1 kg of chicken cut in pieces
  • 2-3 tsp. turmeric
  • 4-5 bay leaves (smashed)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 orange
  • 2-3 tsp. of dried mint
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt
  • pepper



Slice the garlic. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. According to your taste you can add more, or put less of turmeric, bay leaves and dried mint. Add the lemon juice and then cut the skin of the lemon in pieces and add it to the mix. Do the same with the orange. Cover your mix and let it stay. The more it stays the more the meat will absorb the aroma. When you are ready to grill, cook till the meat is thoroughly cooked. Serve with bread and salad.