Salma the Syrian Chef

Salma the Syrian Chef is Ahmad Danny Ramadan's first book for children.

Ahmad Danny Ramadan, illustrated by Anna Bron

Newcomer Salma and friends cook up a heartwarming dish to cheer up Mama. All Salma wants is to make her mama smile again. Between English classes, job interviews and missing Papa back in Syria, Mama always seems busy or sad.

A homemade Syrian meal might cheer her up, but Salma doesn't know the recipe, or what to call the vegetables in English or where to find the right spices! Luckily, the staff and other newcomers at the Welcome Centre are happy to lend a hand — and a sprinkle of sumac.

With creativity, determination and charm, Salma brings her new friends together to show Mama that even though things aren't perfect, there is cause for hope and celebration. Syrian culture is beautifully represented through the meal Salma prepares and Anna Bron's vibrant illustrations, while the diverse cast of characters speaks to the power of cultivating community in challenging circumstances. (From Annick Press)

Ahmad Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author, award-winning activist and public speaker. Through his activism, he has created a safe passage for many Syrian LGBTQ-refugees to Canada. He made his authorial debut with the novel The Clothesline Swing, which was longlisted for Canada Reads 2018. Salma the Syrian Chef is Ramadan's first book for children.

Anna Bron is a Vancouver-based freelance illustrator and animation director. She has illustrated for children's magazines and animated, designed and directed commercials and short films.

Interviews with Ahmad Danny Ramadan

Danny Ramadan on his first children's book, Salma The Syrian Chef, illustrated by Anna Bron, which he launched on Twitter.
Ahmad Danny Ramadan on his novel "The Clothesline Swing," about an elderly gay Syrian refugee trying to keep his partner alive by telling him stories.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?