Arab Women Making Strides: Chef Aida Shaaban

Sexism is one of the main issues that all women struggle with on a daily basis, from phrases like “women shouldn’t be working” to “women belong in the kitchen”, however, women even face obstacles getting into a restaurant’s kitchen. Ironically, when it came to women working in the culinary business it was hard. In Egypt, it was only a few years ago when women were welcomed in restaurants to work as chefs. It used to be that most restaurants wouldn’t hire female chefs.

That didn’t stop Chef Aida Shaaban from pursuing her dreams. She had a passion for cooking and was very optimistic, believing that she’d be distinctive in this field.

Raising her 8-month-old daughter and working a full-time job as a teacher didn’t hinder her persuasion of eventually graduating with a distinction degree from the Culinary Training Center, she even took extra cooking, food styling as well as food photography courses at the Le Cordon Blue in London.

Aida passed on her knowledge by taking part in the Fard Foundation where she began teaching Syrian refugee women, giving them a three-month of intensive cooking courses to help them started their own catering company. She’s a true inspiration.

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