The Orient Experience
The Orient Experience is an ethnic catering company founded in 2012 by political refugees and asylum seekers in the city of Venice. It was born from the idea of making the experience and memory of the migrants’ journey (from Africa and the Middle East to Venice) meaningful through the proposal of a “menu” of dishes that retrace that itinerary.
The Migrant as an innovator: In fact, the dishes are the result of the migrant’s encounters with other cultures and a personal reinterpretation and adaptation to the place where they are proposed. The Orient Experience makes it possible to transmit new knowledge and live a new sensorial and relational experience, through the conviviality offered by the food, the care of the place of refreshment where this otherness is breathed in.
The Orient Experience highlights the potential offered by the encounter between different cultures, and diversity as a source of innovation and education. It is a testimony of the figure of the migrant as an innovator.
The Orient Experience has a strong commitment toward social inclusion: it hires disadvantaged people and refugees to support social inclusion offering professional careers. For the most, employees come from difficult situations and backgrounds, hence the restaurant is the way to offer support and a chance of integration with local community. Refugees represent just a part of the staff, since abandoned young people as well as unemployed with particular background are welcome, if they want to actively contribute to the development of the project.
Nowadays, there are two Orient Experience in Venice (Orient Experience 1 and 2), one in Kabul (Orient Experience 3) and one more in Catane (Orient Experience 4). The last one is sponsored by UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency) and combines both two projects of social inclusions: Isola Quassud managed by Emanuela Pistone and the Refugees (Food) Experience of Hamed Ahmadi.
Website of the Orient Experience: https://orientexperience.it/home-orient-experience-1/
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