by Andree Lau
It’s so hot that the door to The Depanneur restaurant is propped open for air circulation. The smell of frying onions and then stewed chicken wafts outside into the steamy Toronto afternoon.
It’s hard not to stop and peer at what’s going on inside the crowded open kitchen in the back.
About a dozen women — some wearing headscarves, others in jeans — are busy cooking a three-course meal. But none are staff; they’re Syrian refugees who have been in their new home of Canada for just three months.
“I like the smell of cooking,” said Majda Mafalani. “It feels great to be cooking again. I feel that I was born again.”