Syrian Chef Uses Sign Language Creating Inclusive Cooking Videos

Syrian Chef Uses Sign Language Creating Inclusive Cooking Videos

Jul 13, 2023

Aman Ashi is a young Syrian in her early twenties who is making headlines for more than one reason. Aman teaches people how to cook famous Syrian cuisines on her YouTube channel. What sets her apart?

Aman is hearing-impaired and teaches using sign language. Her videos are also captioned and targeted at hearing-impaired and deaf individuals.


Background Story

Aman fell ill at an early age, and the disease impacted her hearing. The hearing loss did not prevent this motivated Syrian from becoming an independent person. She has a loving family supporting her, and Aman shares a strong bond with her mother.

Aman’s mother, Basima Al-Zoubi, encouraged her daughter from a young age. In an interview, she narrated the story of Aman’s introduction to the kitchen.

Basima said, “Ever since Aman was young, six or seven years old maybe, she used to go with me to the kitchen. She enjoyed chopping things up and helping me cook. So I encouraged her to help me, and the harder the meal was, the happier she’d be.”

However, Aman did not stop by watching her mother cook and helping her in the kitchen. She has a natural talent for cooking and can differentiate between spices simply by smelling them. Even learning the names of the spices and following her mother’s recipes was not enough.

Once Aman mastered the recipes of all her mother’s meals, she started creating her own. She would add spice, or garnish with a particular herb, to enhance the aroma and taste of her meals.


Looking Ahead To Become A Famous Cook

Owing to the success and reach of her YouTube Channel, Aman has opened up a small catering service. She wants to expand this business and make more impact.

In an interview, Aman stated, “I opened the kitchen, and now I am so happy with this. In the future, I will use this kitchen to hold special courses for the hearing impaired where they can get certificates that qualify them for work.”

She aspires to become a famous cook, and given the number of videos she has posted, it doesn’t seem that far away. She has around 1,700 followers already and hopes to reach a wider audience.


Spreading Diversity and Equality

There are few channels on YouTube catering to the deaf and mute community, but Aman’s initiative has brought about a fresh perspective on communication. She signs, and her mother records on her mobile phone. Aman edits the videos before uploading them for the world to see.

Each video starts with the meal name, ingredients, and the cooking process, all in sign language. The captions are in Arabic, and Aman is one of the few people working to make this world fairer for people with disabilities.

She says she loves cooking, and through YouTube, I cooked for deaf people and have received very good interaction and admiration. I use sign language to interact with YouTube’s audience.”

While her friends and family support her, her channel has also helped her friend Mona Mzarza, who is also deaf. For her, Aman’s videos are much simpler and more comprehensive than regular videos and have helped her learn to cook faster.

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