Zaytoon is an initiative that attempts to tackle several complexities due to the current refugee crisis. It’s a masterplan to build a kitchen in the heart of a Dutch refugee centre and use it in surprising ways.


ZAYTOONOur goal is to endorse a society that is open, tolerant, and where all inhabitants, new and old, find opportunities ready to help each otherif need be. By creating a platform where people from all over the globe will gather, Zaytoon will be a place of fellowship and inspiration. Using the primary way of cross-cultural exchange: FOOD! The project encourages fundamental understanding of each other and integration.

By using food, not only as a vital need, but as a way of communication, our aim is to help refugees as much as the local community. Many refugees miss their food and traditions, and have a great urge to distract their sometimes traumatised minds. Meanwhile resistance towards refugees is strikingly high, especially among less privileged members of society. The Zaytoon Project is set up so refugees can help prepare meals for the ‘Voedselbank’ (foodbank), an organisation that provides food for those without budget. Thus, the one hand washes the other.

Besides, Zaytoon organises cooking workshops. Events where locals can sign up to learn the exquisite cuisine of the refugees. Some places will be made available for foodbank costumers for free. Refugees build friendships in their new country, and locals have the chance of exploring exotic flavours whilst expending their cooking skills. This exchange will enable the refugees to become helpers instead of victims, while at the same time changing the attitude of the local community, from resistance to appreciation, realising we are all one people and we should help each other.

Zaytoon is the Arabic word for Olives. Olives are widely admired for their taste and healthy properties. It’s nowadays commonly used in kitchen’s all over the world.


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