Interview: Nadia Al Ali


Brih-Kada Alshouf, Lebanon

Personal Background
(personal background of the person interviewed, not too much detailed, it depends on the context).

A French, science and Arabic teacher in formal schools. She reached retirement age and retired recently.
Her work started from the suffering of a disease: in fact, she had stones in her gallbladder. She tried alternative medicine with a very strict diet which made the stones dissolve in her gallbladder but – since the health problem couldn’t be solved – she had to go under surgery. Since then she made her decision to seriously change her diet.
Nadia is completely vegan now, she doesn’t consume any meat, fish, diary or eggs, not even sugar. She compensates by eating millet, oats, peeled barley, whole rice, soy. As for sugar, she compensates by eating honey, molasses, dates, fruits, raisin and figs. She makes an exception for goat milk as long as it is not in a plastic container.
“I feel much more energetic now, I sometimes work from dawn until the evening none-stop, unlike before, where I had to take rest and lay down every 2 hours of work”, Nadia says.


Description of the environment where one of the activities listed above takes place:
(Please, specify: 1 – name of the local area, 2 – if it’s a place well-known for a specific activity and – if so – which one; 4 – information about plants and landscape related to Mediterranean environment linked to the activity; 5 – any relevant information linked to the research). If it’s possible, take pictures/shoot video of this place.

The activity of Nadia is located at Brih, which has plenty of water and clear mountain nature. This place is at an altitude between 850-900m above sea level.

Meat was not available in the old days.

From this place there are some useful and old suggestions to improve your health or to strengthen some part of your body. For example:

– Soaking a raw egg in lemon juice overnight and drinking the juice alone or with salad, helps to support the body with calcium and protects from osteolysis.

– Using rose water and flower water glass bottles for drinking water make the water aromatic each time.

– Crush squarrosum (al harika) and juice it then put it on the weak hair once a week to strengthen it.

Description of the technique/method/practice implemented. Please, specify – if it’s the case – the timing, the steps and the aim of the activity (to have more material: pictures + video shooting of the usage if it’s possible).

Nadia is working with her brother, who considers the help of his sister indispensable, given her precious suggestions connected to the traditions.
She specifically cultivates plants by using ash, dissolving it in water and spray fruits and vegetables with the mixture to repulse bugs and insects. It is called “safwa” (means “raffinate”).
Moreover, she produces shampoo and toothpaste by using natural products:

1) She makes shampoo using herbs like chamomile, salvia, thyme, basil, marjoram and aromatic oils.

2) She also makes toothpaste using clay, carbonates and mint oil.


List of natural products (fruits, vegetables, plants, fish and so on) depending on the activity/the activity is done for and related to the Mediterranean Diet. Promotion of the territory. Promotion of biodiver Promotion of slow and 0% consumptionif it’s the case, how the 0 Km production is working at local level: Region, if it’s a place famous for a specific activity, why and so?

In winter they depend on the harvesting of wild herbs and leaves such as: qarrah, squarrosum (al harika), eryngium and wild chicory.

She cultivates cucumber, tomato, cowpeas, beans, onion, zucchini, eggplants, parsley and mint.

As for fruit trees: apples, peaches, quince, pears, cherry, plumps, grapes, figs and olives.

Her products are: rose water (from her house roses as Nadia says), olive oil, soap and raisin.


If it’s an activity related to the promotion of the territory, the biodiversity and the slow and 0% consumption, please, describe how it works at local level (if it’s related to traditional practice or traditional organization of the food distribution, promotion of territory or 0% consumption).

Nadia’s place follows the perfect balance among mankind and nature. She doesn’t need to buy any product: she uses what Nature gives her according to the seasons, discovering again the trust between Nature and humans on the process of production.

About cultivating and harvesting, apart of using water and ash to protect the plants from the bugs, with her brother she discovered that pine residue is an organic natural substance and can be used as a natural organic fertilizer and softener for the soil. Irrigation of the soil is done by dragging or by dripping water during drought times.

Once dealers used to come and buy the harvest but then out of the blue they didn’t pay, claiming they went bankrupt. Now everything has changed, especially for the distribution of the products: her brother takes the products – using his camion – to the farmers’ market and sells every last piece of the product, really famous for its great quality.


How did you learn this method/technique/practice?

She learned most of these practices from her family first, then by reading related books.
One method/technique they discover is that pine residue helps in softening and moisturizing the soil.

Season (season this activity is specifically carried out)


Leave a Reply