There are a lot of cooking shows in Egypt, whether they’re big shows with household name chefs on TV, or rising stars making their way on the internet. But today we’re talking about quite a unique cooking show, one dedicated to deaf and nonverbal people.
Aya Sayed, a graduate of the Faculty of Commerce, and the Culinary Arts Academy, was born to a deaf and nonverbal father and mother. She lived with them and learned to coexist with a part of our society that people sometimes mistreat. This is why Aya decided to create this cooking show, to make them feel as much a part of society as anyone, and let them know that they can hear and communicate with us.
After a lot of endeavours, Aya wasn’t able to get any major TV channels on board, so she decided to go to Facebook and start her show online on the food group called “Egyptian Gourmet Society”. Her presentation is quite interesting, and her recipes look absolutely delicious. These videos are entertaining and useful for everyone, and while they cater to deaf and nonverbal people, they are still for everyone. Why don’t you see for yourself?
We talked to Aya about her story, and she told us how she loved cooking ever since she was a child, and how she was always with her mother and grandmother in the kitchen, until she decided to learn how to cook professionally, and got her education at the Culinary Arts Academy in Sixth of October. Aya worked at different restaurants and hotels, but what prompted her to come up with this idea was when she found her mum unable to differentiate between salt and sugar on a cooking channel. This inspired her to post her videos, which were supported by Amr Helmy, on the group Egyptian Gourmet Society.
Aya added, “When I walk down the street with my mother, I always find people staring at us because of the way I talk to her, especially kids, they look at us like we’re aliens, while in most countries, deaf/nonverbal kids are taught sign language to help them become part of the community. This is why I wanted to create this program.”
“I wish there were more restaurants employing deaf and nonverbal people, and I hope to teach them the basics of cooking, and help them pave their own path, and for people to accept them and treat them normally without mocking them. I hope they work in restaurants or have their own, and for people to be ok with that.” This is how Aya concluded her talk with us, and from our standpoint, we share her dream, and hope that our society will accept deaf and nonverbal people as an integral and effective part of society.