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Dinner Cooked by Refugees Takes Place in Austin During SXSW

Komeeda is moving to Austin after hosting the Iraqi dinner

Eggplant casserole from Baiti Food
Eggplant casserole from Baiti Food
Baiti Food/Yelp

Komeeda, a company that hosts pop-up dinners in New York City, is hosting a dinner during South by Southwest in honor of its April move to Austin. The dinner takes place tomorrow, March 13, at 6:30 p.m., at 502 Thompson Lane. Proceeds from the $65 ticket will go towards the Refugee Services of Texas.

The dinner will be hosted by Jabber Al-Bihani and Nas Jab of Komeeda as well as Ayman Bashi and Raya Thanoon, an Iraqi refugee couple who are owners and operators of Baiti Food (which will also receive a portion of the dinner proceeds). The couple were profiled in the Statesman in 2017.

The dinner will feature a variety of dishes like tabbouleh salad, beef cracked wheat bread, meatball biryani, and sweet znood (phyllo dough & milk sweetened with simple syrup with a touch of pistachio). Bashi and Thanoon will also provide a narrative of their experiences.

Al-Bihani and Jab are also hosting a panel at SXSW earlier that day, with a representative from Refugee Services of Texas. It will look at how people are using food as a grassroots initiatives to empower Americans and strengthen communities. They were accepted to MassChallenge Accelerator TX, so expect to see other pop-ups in Austin soon.

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