Hana Assfari owner of a Moroccan restaurant in Australia that empowers Muslim women

Hana Assafiri owner and founder of Moroccan Soup Bar, an authentic place in Fitzroy, Australia where the waitresses are veiled and Muslim. The female activist and feminist is expanding her vegetarian business by setting up a taginerie always while carrying the objective of empowering Muslim women in the country.

Hana Assafiri is opening a lunch-only taginerie. Ph./ Justin McManus
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Hana Assafiri, a Moroccan businesswoman known as the owner of the Moroccan Soup Bar in Fitzroy, Australia is recently expanding her authentic vegetarian restaurant and opening a taginerie. The businesswoman, chef and activist is notorious for the message she is trying to convey. According to The Age, a daily newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, Hana aims to empower Muslim women by employing them and «enabling them to thrive». 

Created and launched in 1998, Hana has been running the Moroccan Soup Bar for 17 years with no meat and no alcohol. A breathtaking place where you can eat a vegetarian dish alongside her Moroccan-delicacy sister-diner. In a review provided by Goodfood, the latter was described as a «delight». «There will always be falafel, haloumi, grain salads, grilled vegetables and flame-scorched and smoky eggplant turned into a dip», the review stated. 

As for the art deco, the restaurant is a colorful festival, painted walls with piled tin and jars.

Empowering Muslim women

The Moroccan zelij and the smell of spices are everywhere. The plates are made from scratch as one can order «a simple summer salad with tomatoes, spring onion, oregano and shanklish, a crumbly cheese, tossed with olive oil and lemon, sprinkled with bright, citrusy sumac. That could be followed by a cous cous salad with walnuts, slivered almonds, cranberries, preserved lemon, harissa and herbs, spicy, crunchy and fresh all at once», the same website indicated.

Alongside her job as a businesswoman and manager of the Moroccan Soup Bar, Hana has written a book published in October 26th 2015, entitled «Moroccan Soup Bar : Recipes of Spoken Menu». According to Hana, the book explains how her restaurant is «founded on a philosophy (…) a vision whose primary objective was not monetary, where everyone who visited to share experiences». The book is also a way of showcasing «the wonderful vegetarian dishes served every night at the restaurant”. Beside food, the Moroccan restaurant includes a «Muslim speed dating», which is an opportunity for women to gather and talk. 

When asked by The Age newspaper about her philosophy regarding food, Hana replied saying that «nothing is yours – you don't own it, you are a custodian.»

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