Archive Monthly Archives: May 2020

Welcome back to Damascus!

Tastes of Damascus, our eco-friendly Restaurant-Café, employing refugees and migrants, has finally reopened its doors !

We are very happy to finally be able to welcome you back in Kipseli, to offer you a tasty journey while respecting the current sanitary measures and social distancing rules. Outside tables are now one meter and a half from each other, and we are lucky to be supported by the city of Athens, that allows us to settle on a larger space to ensure the safety of all. All our staff members are provided with masks and gloves and hand sanitizer is available as well.

We are looking forward to seeing you again !

Visit our website to get all the information on Tastes of Damascus:

COVID-19 Update : Za’atar NGO remains mobilized

More than two months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and while restrictions are slowly being lifted up, Za’atar NGO and team remain mobilized to accompany, support and empower refugees and asylum seekers. Here is the last update on our activities.

The shelter has not closed its doors. Food distributions are regularly organized to support the residents who cannot go back to work yet. Za’atar team continues to reply and accompany refugees via Facebook and WhatsApp. For the last two months, we have been observing an increase in messages from beneficiaries. The lockdown measures have indeed made impossible for them to come to class, to the day-centre or to see their psychologist – a situation which has increased their isolation.

In those particular and challenging times, LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers are even more vulnerable. Locked in the camps, they have no more access to the dedicated “Safe spaces” where they used to spend a moment or the whole day to get some rest or relief. Some LGBTQ+ refugees from the camp of Samos notably reached out to ATLAS, the Aid To LGBTQ Asylum Seekers program on Facebook and WhatsApp, which remains active as well.

Greek and English classes are still offered online via Zoom, whose weekly schedule can be found on our Facebook page every Monday. They are to be continued until further notice and even after the reopening of classes for safety reasons.  

We are now hoping to reopen our legal and psychological support services as soon as possible.  

All throughout this period, you can still contact us through WhatsApp at the following number: +30 694 067 1666.

Stay home and take care.

The Za’atar NGO Team

A little piece of Damascus in the heart of Athens

Summer is at the corner and life is slowly coming back in the streets of Athens. Time will soon come to take a seat at a café and enjoy a nice meal under the sun. Tastes of Damascus, located at Negri Fokionos 19, Athina, will be waiting for you! 

Visit our brand new website here:

Tastes of Damascus is an eco-friendly Restaurant-Café, employing refugees and migrants as for every activity of the Layali Project non-profit social enterprise.  First opened on February 17, its success and activity have enabled us to hire two refugees of Syrian origins so far. We will be reopening as soon as the sanitary measures allow us to, in order to continue training more and more refugees. 

We select the candidates depending on their motivation and will, during individual interviews, and require them to have at least a basic knowledge of Greek language and some cooking skills. We then accompany them through administrative procedures to get their identity documents or residence permits, open a bank account or have a medical examination. 

One of our two current employees has followed English, Greek and Cooking lessons at the Orange House. New sessions of cooking training, which are given in Greek, will soon be offered at the Orange House, to benefit the greater number of refugees. 

More exciting projects regarding the restaurant are to come! Stay tuned! 

In the meantime, do not hesitate to visit our website to get all the information on Tastes of Damascus:

We hope to see you soon! 

Stay updated on all our projects and adventures by following us on our social media.

Za’atar NGO 

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The Orange House’s classes do not stop!

In this particular context we have been living for a while now, restricting our contacts and movements, the Orange House has not stopped its activities.

The Orange House team has adapted its organization to insure the smooth running of some of its classes online. Using Zoom services, seven language classes have been launched – three groups in English, four groups in Greek. After a successful test week to define and fit the student’s needs and constraints, we are now hoping to recruit more English teachers to benefit the greatest number.

The Orange House team is looking forward to opening its doors again!

Stay home and take care.

Stay updated on all our projects and adventures by following us on our social media.

Za’atar NGO 

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