Naima Morelli

Published! Interview with Marwa Benhalim on The New Arab

Marwa Benhalim's 'The Devil's Recipe'

Artist Marwa Benhalim told me there is an invisible line dividing Libya. I tried to guess what it was. But of the many divisions splitting Libya in two, I wouldn’t have ever thought about this one: couscous and rice.

She explains to me that on the western side of Libya, there are semolina fields, and all the main dishes are based on couscous.

On the eastern side, it’s all rice crops, and you can find rice-based recipes: “The couscous side of Libya was influenced by commerce with Morocco and Tunisia, the other side had rice comes from Asia through Egypt. Trade stopped in the middle because there is a very large desert,” she says. “Through the food people eat, you can really understand the history of a country.”

I have interviewed the artist for The New Arab.

Here is the link to the piece

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