Photos

Greek church’s ‘old pros’ carry on kibbee tradition

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson Lorena Ammar (left) and Jenna Bsharah smooth out a layer of meat to cover the middle section — known as hashweh — of a pan of kibbee, a traditional Lebanese meat dish. The two, both 90, have been helping St. George prepare for its annual dinner since they were teenagers.
Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by F. Brian Ferguson
Lorena Ammar (left) and Jenna Bsharah smooth out a layer of meat to cover the middle section — known as hashweh — of a pan of kibbee, a traditional Lebanese meat dish. The two, both 90, have been helping St. George prepare for its annual dinner since they were teenagers.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Jenna Bsharah and Lorena Ammar share many things — the same birth year, a lifelong membership to the St. George Orthodox Cathedral, a friendship so old they’ve lost count of its length.

At the age of 90, the two recently got together to share in an activity that they’ve been doing since their teenage years — making kibbee for their church’s annual dinner.

With Ammar standing for most of the work and Bsharah sitting, they grabbed clumps of the meat and wheat mixture, flattened it out in their hands and smoothed it to make one thin layer on the bottom of a pan. They worked quickly alongside the younger church members to fill large standard sheet pans with the traditional Lebanese meat dish.

“We’re old pros,” Ammar joked.

She and Bsharah recalled being the youngest helpers in the kitchen preparing kibbee, cabbage rolls and baklava for the church’s annual fundraiser dinner.

“I used to help the older ladies, but they are all dead now,” she said.

Ammar chimed in with, “So we’re the older ladies.”

The two have volunteered for many dinners, and they’ll be helping out again at this year’s annual dinner…

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