I was working in this book since 2014. The planned release date was end of January 2015. Everything was ready with seven classic recipes picked to showcase Syrian cuisine but they were also intended to help my dad, who had an import-export business specializing in grains and pulses, by teaching his clients new recipes for these products.
I am not sure if the best-laid plans are more likely to go awry or if they simply tempt fate. A few days before the ebook's release, my dad went into a coma. I faltered, but tried to persevere because this was what he would’ve wanted. However, when he passed away, I just lost it.
Those who knew him remember a hurricane of energy, a force majeure in every sense. He hated dotting i's and crossing t's and favored a "DONE IS BETTER THAN GOOD" approach. As a perfectionist, I found it impossible to work for him, with him, or even in proximity to him. I still have no idea how we ended up partnering up again for this book when the last three times we worked together had ended in sky-high explosions. It did make perfect business sense, but this was a guy who was requesting updates from the ICU at 2 AM!
There were times when I wondered if I could survive having him peering over my shoulder all the time, critiquing every move I made. But for the past seven years, I have found it impossible to move on without him there to tell me if I am doing things right, to remind me to stick to my deadlines, and to grumble about me obsessing over details. Worst of all, he was not going to be there to see me succeed.
So here I was with my orphaned project, wondering how to pull myself together, where to find the will and the inspiration to carry on with this quest on my own when I used to have the Energizer Bunny for a muse!
A wise lady told me to "Think of WHY you want to get back on track." So I did. The answers, though clichéd, were genuine. This is my purpose. My dad would want this book to see the light, how much good it would do, and so forth. None of these reasons was enough to shake me out of my apathy. So I let the book collect virtual dust in my hard drive and eventually, I forgot all about it.
It wasn’t until I opened my Syrian food deli in Hala Gwardii, that I rediscovered my passion for food, and with it, my love for connecting with people through it. That was my WHY and that’s what got me over the finish line.
“7 Classic Syrian Recipes” is available to download for free until the 23rd of December 2021. No strings attached! You don’t have to sign up for a newsletter or buy me a coffee, I’m simply happy this baby has seen the light at long last.