We are Robert and Angie Meeker, and we’re writing a Kurdish cookbook along with some Kurdish friends here in here in the US. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter or @angiemeeker and @rdmeeker.
We lived in the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq from 2006-2008. We love both the Kurdish people AND their food. We’re often asked how to make Kurdish food but there just aren’t many recipes written in English. Most are written in Kurdish, Arabic, Latini or French, and without standard measurements. We’d like to work with the Kurdish families here in the US to create an authentic Kurdish cookbook in English. And, we'd like to do in Nashville, TN during the Kurdish New Year celebration of Newroz, around March 20.
We are pre-funding this book before we write it so that we can do things like hire quality photographers, buy groceries and purchase meals at a Kurdish restaurant, pay the families who will be cooking with us, and things like that. We’re asking you to take a look at the pledge options above and decide if you’d like to be a part of this. If you’d like to hear our story, watch the video at the top of this page, or/and read the frequently asked questions below.
What are the books about?
Kurdish cooking and Kurdish recipes, with a bit of Kurdish history and culture-sharing thrown in, too. After all, food is culture. We’ll probably also share some personal stories that relate to our time in Kurdistan, and stories of the Kurdish families who are helping with the cookbook, especially food stories. You just can’t know a culture without knowing their food.
How many recipes are there?
Right now we have about 40. If there is a particular recipe you’d like to see in the book, please leave a comment below and we’ll see if we can get it.
What are you going to do with the money?
The money pledged will be used to hire a student photographer and videographer for a week, to purchase meals at the Kurdish restaurant in Nashville, TN, to pay for transportation and lodging for our team to Nashville, TN, and for print-on-demand publishing of the hardcover books. Angie is a website designer and graphic designer - so we're planning on doing the layout of the book ourselves. If we raise OVER the $7,000, we'll hire a layout designer for that, as well. It will also be used to help pay for the video production and editing because not only are we producing the cookbook itself, but we’ll also share videos of the recipes on this site once the book is out. We will need to buy groceries for the meals which are not created at the restaurant, and will also pay those families a stipend for helping.
What does “pledge” mean exactly?
When you pledge a dollar amount to this project, it means that you are helping us write these books by essentially pre-ordering them. Plus, when you pre-order with a pledge you get a bunch of fun bonuses.
Will I still be able to buy this book on Amazon later?
Absolutely. That will be our primary avenue of distribution.
How much money are you raising?
We need at least $7,000.
When will the books be finished?
We'd like to gather the recipes' photographs and videos in Mid-March in Nashville during the Kurdish New Year celebration of Newroz. Allowing two months for editing after that, we’re shooting for a delivery day on or around May 31, 2012.
Why self-publish this way?
We’ve seen so many people on the internet – in forums, on blogs, on Facebook – ask for Kurdish recipes in English. American military members who served in Iraq…aid workers…teachers…businessmen… all sorts of people who have had the privilege of tasting authentic Kurdish cooking want to have it again. We know there is a desire for it. We know that it will be a great honor for the Kurdish families here to participate, but very DIShonorable of us to ask them to do it without also offering them some pay in return (at least, we think so). And, we want our cookbook and videos to be done right. Good photography; well shot and edited videos. We don’t just have bags of money lying around, so we’re asking all of the people who are interested to pitch in and help make it happen.
How much money have you raised so far?
Check this page for updated numbers. It automatically updates.
Who are Robert and Angie Meeker?
We’re just regular people like you! Five years ago, shortly after we got married, we headed over to Northern Iraq with our daughter Nila to work with a humanitarian aid organization. We weren’t there for long, but we made lifelong friends (family, really) and want to do something that shows them how much we love them and want to share them with the world.
Robert has his BA in International Relations, and Master in Public Administration from the Ohio State University. Angie owns her own website design and internet marketing company.