This non-Lebanese is in love with Koullouna (and Lebanon)
“My relationship with Lebanon isn't a direct one. I have not been yet even though it is definitely a project I have for the future. I would really love to go see the Bekaa Valley, the Cedars of the Lord and so many other things... I can't begin naming them all”
Meet Michaël Dumais: a Quebecer who has been purchasing Koullouna boxes since the very start.
We always talk about Koullouna box being for any Lebanon-lover, whether they’re Lebanese or not, and Michaël is the living proof of that! He even takes it to another level by making use of every single item in the box right after he gets it. So over a few months, he made labneh, he used olive-oil soap to wash his hands, he made Lebanese coffee... He even made a Manoushe!!
We wanted to understand why would a Canadian be so passionate about the Koullouna box, so we asked him a few questions:
Koullouna: How come you have such a connection with Lebanon?
Michaël: Even though I’ve never been to Lebanon, I’ve always been passionate about the Middle East vibes and especially the Arabic language. It sounds so musical to me and has such great poetry that comes with it along with the calligraphy.
Also, Quebec is filled with Lebanese people and as you know, they tend to be very proud of their origins and spread their culture everywhere they go. So I discovered the Lebanese culture through some of my friends—past and present—that live in Canada. They have Najwa Karam CDs in their cars, homemade awarma in their fridges and fascinating things in their luggage on their way back from Beirut...
Koullouna: What do you love about Koullouna?
Michaël: What makes Koullouna special is the fact that it’s not only about food, but also many Lebanese products reflecting the local culture. But mostly, my favorite thing about the box is the fact that it also allows me to contribute to a new initiative each month. These initiatives are what give Koullouna its meaning and soul.
Koullouna: Which box was your favourite and why?
Michaël: The "Sobhye box" is my all-time favourite. As a labneh lover, the Labneh bag made me so happy! I ended up making it 4-5 times since I received it! It is so much better than I expected. So much creamier and tangier than what I've been buying at the store all these years! It brings me right back to when I tried that one a friend had brought back from his aunt’s sheep farm the first time.
Koullouna: One last word for anyone who is hesitating to buy a box?
Michaël: Besides the fact that it's a gift that keeps on giving? That it's a little ray of sunshine amidst all the rain-clouds that are the phone bills and ad flyers in your mailbox? That it makes each month feel like it's Christmas?