Green Thyme and Purslane Salad with Crumbled Feta Cheese and Our Crazy “Clown Me In” Interventions

One of my recent activities is spending time with an overwhelming group of people behind red noses. We have been going around selected schools to teach children how to wash hands properly during the Hand Washing Day funded by UN Habitat.

Name of the group: Clown Me In

Active members in this campaign: 5 crazy clowns

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This is one of the most fun times I am spending. Our clowns are us. They came from within, and not just a costume we put on for the show. We discovered our clowns through a clown therapy workshop led by Sabine Choukair. We decided to take our clowns outside the walls of the workshop into the streets of Beirut with street interventions on social topics that irritate us. Our first was on February 2014 at a crossroad, teaching drivers how to behave to the street light, and pedestrians to cross on the striped lines at the right time. Feeling socially responsible, as individuals and as clowns, we participated in the second or third protest called for by #YouStink movement and we took the covers of the Lebanese media. Annahar newspaper used our photo so many times, for unrelated reasons, the red nose could replace their logo and the photo could be the official poster on the building instead that of Gebran Tueni.

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Another road of protesting we decided to take, was videos that criticize the situation in Lebanon, but with the clowns logic; a pretty twisted logic. The videos gathered more than 100,000 views, with 40,000 on one video in a few hours only.

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It is fascinating how we get along all together. We are so different in character but we have so much in common. Our pleasure from performing is overwhelming. After each performance, we are either drained the point of no return, or so hyperactive we could generate electricity. Working with children, children in rural areas who are not that as spoiled and exposed to such things as city children, is pleasurable. You can see the excitement and happiness in their eyes and their bodies. When a kid tries hard to jump up and down to capture your attention, or breaks the line his/her teacher asked them make just to give you a high-five is a valid certification that your work was well appreciated and admired. Their smiles and laughs are genuine and priceless. Check the album here for the awesome photos

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Currently, our mother clown Sabine is touring with Clowns Without Borders in Lesvos to greet the refugees arriving their and provide them with psychosocial support. The stories she is sharing with us are devastating. Here is one

On that note, another satisfying reaction is people you’re serving food to. It was a delight, in addition to organizing the event, cooking for so many people, with little resources and tools around, and getting positive feedback. It was not rocket science, but simple rural recipes, with a slight twist. A simple salad was wiped out every time, no matter how big the quantity was. It is also the weather, as we say in Arabic, the weather makes you eat. I spend the whole day eating. My friends can attest to that.

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I will share the recipe for one of the salads we served at the first and second installation of Autumn Secret. It could serve well in gatherings, parties, or even an individual dish.

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Green Thyme and Purslane Salad with Crumbled Feta Cheese


  • 2 bunches fresh purslane
  • 1 bunch fresh green thyme (the spear-shaped not the round wild type)
  • 2 red ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 tbsp sumac (more to taste)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Feta or Bulgarian cheese (more to taste)


  • Pick the fresh twigs and leaves of both the purslane and thyme. Wash them well but keep them in separate bowl. The purslane is very delicate, so handle it with care. Dry them in a salad spinner or between 2 kitchen towel
  • Wash and dice the tomatoes and put in a bowl. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Mix the onions, tomatoes, and the zaatar once it dries with the sumac, oil, salt, and lemon juice until evenly coated
  • Layer the purslane at the bottom of a large serving dish and mount with the zaatar and dressing mix. Crumble the cheese with your fingers and throw it on top

One thought on “Green Thyme and Purslane Salad with Crumbled Feta Cheese and Our Crazy “Clown Me In” Interventions

  1. Pingback: Third Blogiversary and Chicken Curry with Red Rice | Cookin' five square meters

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