Goat Herders of the Lebanese Mountains

No holidays, birthdays or funerals for a shepherd. I have hundreds of lives counting on me every morning. This is the life I chose, the one I love and I cannot ignore that.

Ezzat Maged, Goat Shepherd and Ambarees cheese maker

Traditional Cheese of Lebanon: Episode 1

How often do we consider the lives of modern goat shepherds? It seems like a throwback to some distant path, yet, Ezzat and Abla Maged with the help of young Syrian shepherds have made a life and successful business making Ambarees cheese. Days are long but the rhythm of life is perfect.

Serdeleh, Ambarees ‘Siredeleh’ or ‘ambarees’ is not a rennet-coagulated cheese, but rather fermented raw goat milk. It is produced in the Bekaa Valley in eastern central Lebanon where it is called ‘ambaress’ and in the western central Shouf area where it is called serdeleh. Meet Ezzat and Abla Maged who have dedicated their lives to making this delicious cheese in Niha, Shouf.

In 2016, Real Lives and Slowfood Beirut collaborated on two films regarding the dying traditions of raw goat cheese making, Serdeleh and Darfieh.

Slowfood Beirut

Slow Food Beirut’s objective is to implement strategies in Lebanon to safeguard local food identity, while supporting local agricultural production. We have created documentaries to promote our Lebanese heritage through food and culture. Slow Food Beirut is part of the growing international association Slow Food based in Italy with chapters all over the world.

  • Produced by: Barbara Abdeni Massaad of Slow Food Beirut
  • Directed by: Mark Abouzeid
  • Audio: Roni Abi Phram
  • Still Photographer: Lucia Abouzeid
  • Date of release: Sept 2016
  • Language: Arabic / English Sub-titles: English

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