Darine El Khatib

“I’ve done a lot of social media short videos that explain how a person could, from the comfort of their own home, help to achieve Zero Hunger.”

Lebanon

Darine el Khatib is a Lebanese media professional based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and FAO’s Special Goodwill Ambassador for Zero Hunger for the Near East and North Africa.

Even before joining FAO’s effort, el Khatib launched a campaign against hunger on the Middle East’s popular Fatafeat TV food channel.

“I partnered with food banks in Egypt and Sudan and non-profit organizations in Lebanon. We packed dried foods like oil, lentils, rice, spaghetti, which could last a long time, and we went to underprivileged areas in Sudan, Egypt and Lebanon and Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon.”

The Fatafeat campaign also focused on raising awareness in schools and households on affordable nutrition and acting with respect for food. It’s an approach which she has continued as FAO’s Goodwill Ambassador.

“I’ve done a lot of social media short videos that explain how a person could, from the comfort of their own home, help to achieve Zero Hunger, simply by using leftovers, recycling, saving energy—simple things that we all know.”

El Khatib says it’s also critical to support and increase programmes like FAO’s nutrition and agricultural education for vulnerable families and farmers.

“I’ve been to Egypt and had the privilege of meeting women who are illiterate and who have transformed their lives through the knowledge that they got from FAO on how to make healthy foods for their families that contain all the necessities and minerals, and how to preserve food for a longer time, for when it’s very cold or the food is very expensive.”

El Khatib has also met farmers who were taught through FAO how to cultivate land in new ways to produce more food with less. She will continue to travel to FAO project sites in 2018-2019. In the meantime, she is focusing much of her outreach on the region’s youngest citizens.

“You start with kids because this is the upcoming generation. If they have the right base, you can ensure that in the future they’ll have a better understanding of how to save our world and our environment.”

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