We’re five sisters, each different but the same. We are different in our academic paths, our hobbies and our locations but the same in up-bringing, customs and lifestyles. We were born to our wonderful parents in three separate countries, and have lived in all three. That’s Canada, the United States and Lebanon. Though we weren’t raised our whole lives in one place, our parents never let us feel instability, their love and support was constant and continues to this day. The years of close sisterhood ended when we got older, now three of us live in different cities across Canada. We all converge on the love of Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott, their books are timeless and perfect for young women. Our favorites are Little Women and Pride and Prejudice. Keeping in contact can be difficult through out the year when school and work is taking up our lives, but we always find time to talk and always get together in the summer. We are all fluent English and Arabic speakers, thanks to our mother who found the time to teach us. She realized the importance of teaching us the language of our religion, and our culture.
We decided to start up The Tabouli Bowl for many reasons. The biggest being that we wanted to pool our efforts into something that could benefit us by keeping us in touch but also to create a one stop database for Middle Eastern recipes. The idea was sparked when we wanted a solid recipe for a traditional Lebanese food but couldn’t find anything online. We would ask our mother but she never had recipes (as every good chef) so we began to shadow her and learn her ways. Anyone who has tasted our mothers cooking can aver that it is some of the finest food ever tasted. The name was inspired by the most famous Lebanese salad/dish called Tabouli, but also because we can never get enough of it. Who we are is defined by what we do and we are five sisters taught to love, share, always respect others & make people smile. Family is of utmost importance to us, we have learned to cherish every moment we spend together and learn from one another. We are faithful in the fact that keeping your family close to your heart will keep you happy (we don’t mean together 24/7, don’t freak!). Life has a funny way of teaching lessons and the best one that is sure to benefit everyone is to always remember your family.
The eldest sibling is always the wisest, I swear to you! She is a fluent French speaker in addition to Arabic & English. Ruba has always been there for all of us. There’s not a memory from our childhood that doesn’t involve her in some way shape or form. She is now the mother of two beautiful and intelligent children and a successful Dietitian. She has a double major Honors in Biology & English and an Honors BSc. Nutrition from two of the top institutions in the country, University of Toronto and McGill University respectively. Ruba is constantly up to date on the latest Academic studies and if you ever want to know anything about the human body, the food we eat or how to cook a top-notch meal then just ask her. She taught us to embrace our passions and to dream big. Most of all, she keeps us afloat as a shining role model in all aspects of life, love and faith.
Bana was born in Lebanon, raised in Toronto and now resides in Edmonton. In between growing up she also lived in Ottawa, Dearborn and Atlanta, all of which helped contribute to her most colorful personality. She is the second eldest of us all and has just recently graduated from the Psychology program at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. We couldn’t be more proud of her for taking on the challenge of education while caring for her home, husband and two boys (that we love to bits and pieces!). Bana enjoys living life with a creative twist which she likes to express through hobbies such as photography and painting, both of which are often inspired by the beauty and serenity she finds in nature; essentially, as cliché as it sounds, she loves long walks on the beach. She recently took a road trip along the west-coast of Canada, making her way from Edmonton, to Calgary, to Kelowna and finally reaching Victoria Island which she tells us has some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Since she was outnumbered at home as a girl (well that wasn’t really a primary reason…but it still counts), Bana decided to pursue her childhood dream of owning a cat and brought home the fluffiest most attitude filled kitty and called her Cici (after this Arabic kid’s song where the cat is named Cici, which is fitting!) They say pet owners live longer, and she was definitely therapeutic when things got busy during exam time. Bana enjoys traveling and the spontaneity that comes with it. She also enjoys volunteering her extra time in her community, everything from Saturday schools to youth groups, she never fails to put forth her best. She hopes to pursue a graduate degree some day in the field of Psychology, but for now we think it’s time she enjoys time with her family and indulge in her own hobbies for a while, perhaps catch up on leisure reading and the latest Hollywood releases too, she most definitely deserves it.
She is perfectly sandwiched between two younger and two older sisters, making her both a younger and older sister to us all, the “middle child.” Heba recently graduate from the M.H.Sc. in Nutrition Communication from Ryerson University after having completed her B.Sc. in nutrition and food science at the University of Alberta in freezing cold Edmonton. She was raised and currently resides in Toronto Canada, a fast pace and lively city that meshes well with her very extroverted personality. Heba has always been the social butterfly of the family; she enjoys reaching out, meeting new people, networking and having a great time. She never shies away from a challenge and receives satisfaction from the learning she acquires from such experiences. She’s strong willed and gives every goal 110% to make it an attainable reality and she always inspires each of us to do the same. She was her grade 8 class valedictorian; her high school student council president and continued onto becoming a university campus ambassador and orientation leader throughout her entire undergraduate degree. Do you see a pattern here? We like to think she’s the queen of planning and organization. She’s planned her fair share of events including her senior prom, she’s also the most likely of any of us to give speeches in front of large crowds and yes, she’s done that too. Heba loves to learn, teach and experience which is why you’ll always find her volunteering her time to gain new insights and maybe even have the chance to meet interesting people! In her spare time, we frequently find her hitting the gym, taking a run outside or doing a random workout video- whatever fits into her schedule, gets her body moving and proves to be somewhat challenging will work! Since she hates routine, she feels the need to incorporate change on a regular basis, in whatever form it may be and that is why she has a never ending life bucket list which is a culmination of crazy things. She hopes that now that she has graduated she can spend more time checking off bucket list tasks which include sky-diving, learning French, knitting a wool scarf, taking a hot air balloon ride, and most importantly traveling and taking in the different cultures around the world. She is currently working on getting her TESOL certification and hopes to teach ESL somewhere around the world one day…the list is never ending just as her ambitions.
Every family has got one, the creative and artistic type. The one who can make sense of totally abstract concepts and ideas. It’s probably why she majored in Sociology with a minor in Political Science, the product of which was an Honors BA from Ryerson University in Toronto. Emma’s academic side is definitely prominent however you can’t suppress the creativity that is deep within her. She is the most creative person you could possibly meet. She is so creative that even her mistakes turn out to actually benefit whatever project she is working on. No better way to truly understand her than through her intrinsic artistic talent. Ever since she was a little girl she dreamed of being a Fashion Designer to design modest fashion for modest women. Growing up there was definitely a lack of wearable options for women who aimed to dress modestly and even though she was young she really seemed to understand the need for it. Just suppose that is the sociologist within her from a young age too! She has eternal and undying love for her husband & their fluff-child, Fefe (their kitty). A freelance photographer based in Ottawa, our great countries capital, she is an aspiring entrepreneur with big dreams. Genuine passion for expression through art keeps her creativity alive. During her undergrad years Emma studied but also honed her skills in digital photography (which started with film photography in high school). As Emma grows she achieves more and more in contrast to the year before. Right now she is taking French language courses and hopes to be fluent one day as well as gaining her TESOL certification. She loves running, volleyball, football (as in soccer), language, social sciences and everything art.
The first thing you should know about Fatima is she has an unhealthy obsession with Horses. Fatima is currently in her senior year and hoping to start her undergrad in Journalism next year. Another thing you should know about her is that she has the ability to make anyone laugh, and most often at an inappropriate time and then it happens to be that laugh that you just can’t stop. She’s the youngest of six making her the baby of the family but she has grown up to be a remarkably talented girl in her own right. She is an animal-lover, as a child she learned all the different breeds of Horses there are and to this day is in love them – it cannot be stressed enough how much she loves them. She plays for her high school football (soccer) team and excels at the sport too, which is a good thing because it give her a place to release all the pent up energy that comes from goodness knows where. Our little sister is probably the most out going out of all of us and we attribute that to the fact that the closest sibling to her is our only brother. Social media is possibly engrained into her being that she is a part of generation text, she hates phones so if you have something to say to her it had better be a text, inbox or tweet. You know those people who wish every night was movie night? Well she is one of those people, except she doesn’t wish it, she makes it reality. Fatima is really good at doing impressions of other people and characters in film, we’d say her best performance is that of Sméagol/Gollum from Lord of the Rings – which by the way is one of her all time favorite series along with Harry Potter. Another thing Fatima could spend all day doing is reading, it can be anything as long as there are pages and words. She’s a writer, a reader, an explorer, but most importantly she’s a sister.