Before I share how amazing this experience was, I need to tell you that our dinner with Dina was directly after visitng the Great Pyramids and my friend and I still thought our time with Dina and her family was a bigger highlight. Yeah, greater than the Great Pyramids.
From the moment the door opened at Dina's house and we saw her big welcoming smile, we felt right at home. I've honestly never felt more comfortable walking into someone's home that I just met, Dina and her family just have this amazing personality that makes you instantly feel like you're family. Dina showed us around her home and her kitchen and how she prepared everything for our dinner with such a sincere passion. She was just as excited to share dinner with us as we were with her; she gets so much joy out of sharing her cooking. To start, she gave my friend and I a watermelon to eat and drink, which was so refreshing, being it was a hot day.
While the final touches were getting made for dinner we sat down with Dina's husband, Muhammad, and their son to watch the Egyptian soccer team play, which once again, made us feel like we were a part of the family. Now on to dinner, just take a look at this spread.
I was extra excited when I saw this meal because there was plenty of vegetarian options. One of the main dishes was kushery, a mix of pasta, rice, black lentils, fried onions with tomato and chili sauce. Oh my
There was also Egyptian bread, a bean sauce, falafel, boiled eggs with Dina's secret twist, salad (tabbouleh and sharmoula), water crest, tahini, Eygptian sausages, chicken shawarma... so much food. Although the real highlight of the dinner was getting to know Dina and her family; hearing the cute story about how Dina & Muhammad met and how Dina learned all her recipes growing up cooking with her Mom and Grandmother. The entire meal was full of laughter and joy and time seemed to stand still. I won't be able to remember when each pyramid was built or even which King they were built for in the coming weeks or years but I will always remember the kindness, hospitality, laughter, and food we shared with Dina and her family. I just can't say enough about how wonderful of an experience it was. Right before coming to Egypt, I was at an international travel conference and the theme was Empowering Connections and I don't know if there's a better way to do that then over dinner with someone at their house. It's the type of immersion we, as travelers, seek with every adventure.
Shukraan Dina for welcoming us with such open arms!
If you'd like to have dinner with Dina and her family we will soon be launching a new trip to Egypt that includes this incredible experience. Give us a call at 800-345-4453 and talk to Sherry Howland, our Egypt director.
Finally, the part you've all been waiting for, here's Dina's kushery recipe (serves 4).