Fleeing Syria & Dazzling Merkel

By: Zainab

Back in Syria, friends gave Malakeh Jazmati this nickname ''Miss Spaghetti'' because cooking up tasty traditional dishes wasn't exactly her thing.

Flash forward two years and Jazmati has become a dynamo in the kitchen in her adopted hometown of Berlin, with Chancellor Angela Merkel among the dazzled by her Middle Eastern delights.

''I started out with birthday dinners and Christmas parties and now I can cook for 800 people!'' Jazmati, a Damascus native, arrived in the German capital in October 2015 and has become something of a star among the  600,000 Syrians who fled civil war for Europe's top economy.

With doe eyes and a round face peeking out from under a headscarf, Jazmati's placid appearance belies a redhot drive to succeed.

''I have a good life in Germany,'' smiles Jazmati, who has also penned a glossy German language cookbook.

Jazmati is relieved she's no longer reliant on the modest state benefits granted to asylum seekers.


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