Sam Aiden serves a traditional Syrian dish he prepared to Bill Shuttleworth and Beth Purser at the potluck hosted by Revelstoke for Refugees on Friday night at the United Church. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

PHOTOS: Potluck welcomes Syrian refugee to Revelstoke

Revelstoke for Refugees hosted a potluck at the United Church on Friday night to welcome Sam Aiden to town

Though the United Church regularly hosts events, there was something different in the air on Friday night. The smell of lentils, rice, caramelized onions, sliced pine nuts and cumin, filled the basement of the eighty year old church on Mackenzie Avenue.

Those ingredients were part of Sam Aiden’s childhood, who arrived in Revelstoke from Lebanon in December, and cooked a traditional Syrian dish called mujadara for about 30 people who attended a potluck organized by Revelstoke for Refugees. The dish is regularly prepared for large gatherings in Syria.

Related: Revelstoke for Refugees to welcome first Syrian arrival in December

Though Aiden is the star of the evening, he is humble. After cooking for the about 30 people in attendance, he also does the dishes. He says it makes him happy just to be able to share some of his culture with those there.

“It just makes me happy to be able to share,” says Aiden with a cheerful smirk as he washes dishes.

The potluck was organized by Revelstoke for Refugees, who were responsible for helping organize the logistics of Sam’s arrival in Canada. Brodie Johnson, a member of the Revelstoke for Refugees standing committee, says the evening was about officially welcoming Aiden to Revelstoke.

“We just really wanted to put on an event to officially welcome Sam to the community and give folks an opportunity to meet Sam who may not have had the chance,” says Johnson.

Aiden regularly volunteers his time at the United Church’s soup and a smile on Mondays.


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Sam Aiden serves mujadara to Beth Purser, who is on the Revelstoke for Refugees Standing Committee. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Aiden serves his dish to Lorna, who was a teacher in Revelstoke for years. Tonight she enjoyed her evening at the United Church and said she was grateful to enjoy some of Aiden’s food and culture. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Attendees wait in line patiently to try some of the traditional dish Aiden prepared. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Rob Buchanan, Matt Kieller and Bekah McLeod enjoy some mujadara Friday night in the basement of the United Church on Mackenzie Avenue. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

A middle eastern inspired dish that was brought by one of the attendees to share with those in attendance. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

Aiden regularly volunteers his time at the United Church’s soup and a smile on Mondays. (Jake Sherman/Revelstoke Review)

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