Cecilia Sibony's delicious (and hopeful) recipe for easing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians looks something like this:
Tahini + Market Demand = Peace In the Middle East?
The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has been one of the longest in modern history, but both sides have at least one thing in common: tahini is a delicious staple at pretty much every meal.
After years as a conflict resolution specialist with Israelis and Palestinians, Sibony realized there might be an opportunity to break up the fight by breaking bread.
That's How She Cooked Up Sesamaise.
In order to offer the brand's delicious selection of plant-based dips, fudge and power bars to consumers in the US, Sibony sources tahini from several different vendors. And intentionally, she's chosen to work with one Palestinian company, and one Israeli company, both family-owned and of comparable size.
Eventually, it's gonna be hard for Sibony to keep up with consumer demand while sourcing from multiple vendors. And the only way she'd be able to justify it is if the Israeli and Palestinian vendors start working with each other to delegate batches and even share costs on shipping containers to the US. And that's the Big Idea at the foundation of this company. Each time you purchase one of Sesamaise' tahini snacks, you're actually creating incentive for Israeli and Palestinian business owners to come to the table and work together!
To say this is a long stretch won't be doing justice to the risk of this kind of goal, but profit potential has a way of re-aligning priorities.
"What's really interesting about tahini is that it already has a history of inspiring cooperation from both sides," says Sibony. "The Israeli vendor I work with only uses very traditional stones for grinding the sesame seeds. And those stones can only be found in Syria. So he commissioned a Palestinian from the West Bank to find them in the middle of the Syrian Civil War and bring them back to Israel for him."
Tahini has always been something you'll find on both Palestinian and Israeli tables, and apparently they care enough about it to help each other make it.
How can you help?
Sesamaise just launched a crowdfunding campaign, and if they raise enough money, that day where the two vendors have to cooperate to fill orders will come sooner than later. Check out the video here for the full story: