Montreal’s Rayan Fish

is a one of my favorite fish restaurants of Middle Eastern origin in Montreal.  It is unique in its simplicity though:  You order the fish or any type of seafood from the counter, tell the cook if you want it to be fried, bar be cued, or grilled, and then will be seated in the restaurant section and wait for your food to arrive. Usually the service is very fast.

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Smoked meat @ Montreal Schwartz

If you find yourself in downtown Montreal, passing through St. Laurent in Plateau area, make sure you’re hungry. Because right there is located Canada’s oldest Deli, the world famous Schwartz’s, offering the classic, Hebrew tradition smoked meat. And it is offering plenty of it in one single sandwich!

You simply cannot miss the deli, as no what matter what time of the year, there is always a lineup in front of it. If you are willing to settle for a take out, you would be waiting less, but having the meal inside the tiny, crowded space is a part of the tradition if you ask me. Read the rest of this entry »

Shish-tauk sandwich & Lebanese music, Montreal-homemade style!

Shish-tauk, an originally Turkish term and a Lebanese way of marinating and broiling chicken, enjoys much popularity and countless recipes on the internet.

We in Montreal, though, would claim an exclusive right over this dish, as it is prepared in a specific ways by Lebanese chain fast food restaurants, most notably Amir Restaurant.  I have been to Amir and taken out its sandwich and plate shish-tauk dishes often enough to come up with my own recipes for this easy and delicious sandwich!


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“I Remember”: A collective art exhibition at Montreal’s Z Gallery

Organized by the newly established Z Gallery, “I remember” is a group exhibition featuring paintings, videos,  installations and collages by 10 Montreal-based artists of various ethnic backgrounds and ages.  The theme of this exhibition is “memory” and is held from May 4 to June 16, 2012 from Tuesday to Saturday 12:00 to 18:00 at Z Gallery.

I encourage those of you who are residing in Montreal or are planning to visit in the next month or so, to certainly make time to drop by at the gallery. The Z gallery itself is a bright spacious studio located at Montreal’s downtown plateau – one of the “coolest” and most “artsy” neighborhoods.  It is established by an Iranian-Canadian artist (Shahrzad Arshadi) with the goal of providing a home for artists “from ‘here’ and ‘there’” – a multi disciplinary home for the emerging as well as established artists in our town. Well, the first exhibition lived up to its promise. On May 4th, I attended the opening of this wonderfully diverse art exhibition and prepared a photo-report of the event to share with you.

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Norooz is around the corner

This is a rather lengthy general introduction and personal note on Norooz the deeply-cherished.  Persian New Year which occurs at the exact moment of the start of spring, this year on Monday March 20th at 01:11 AM (Montreal) 08:44 AM (Iran).

My new header shows a Norooz table setting “sofreh”, which should contain certain items, as I will explain below. The contents as well as the arrangement of sofreh items vary according to individual’s taste and beliefs. I love my sister’s artistic “sofreh” shown in the header. Don’t you!? And let me confess, I am dying to share mine with you once I set it – probably sometime on Sunday eveningWinking smile
For now, let’s just turn this music on and listen to Simin Ghadiri, a Persian folk singer, while you’re reading my account of Norooz. You don’t really need to understand her words, her voice alone is spring on itself! (Lyric describes spring days, the mountains, and fields covered with flowers)  “Yek gol, Sad gol….”  Note

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Marching with Women of Diverse Origins in Montreal

For the past 11 years, each year on March 8th, the Montreal-based Women of Diverse Origins has been celebrating the International Women’s Day by calling upon women of various ethnic backgrounds, indigenous communities, Trans-Women and all other “minority” women groups. The common goal is to “convey solidarity for feminist struggles of liberation across the world and to celebrate our resistance!”

Tonight about 500 women and men, some with baby carriers marched the streets of downtown Montreal for over an hour, while shouting the slogans, singing with the music, and carrying placards. Unlike last year, which many different groups of Iranian expatriates had attended the march, tonight the only group present with placards and leaflets was the Iranian Women Association of Montreal. Their demands: Free political prisoners, Abolish discriminatory laws against women, No to death penalty NO to war with Iran.  See the two short videos I uploaded on Youtube. Quality is not great, but will give you some ideas of the mood.

Happy International Women’s Day!    

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Musicians in Montreal’s metro

Musicians in Montreal’s metro stations always cheer me up no matter what they play! “You are Everything” stayed with me all day after I listened to their wonderful performance of it.Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye – You Are Everything (1974)