Achghalouna, Ashghalouna? Lunch Made By War Widows

A friend mentioned it in passing--that there was a lovely old house somewhere in Zarif where, once a week, war widows serve lunch. Through nearly obsessive googling, I learned that the widows are in a skills training program run by Dar al Aytam, a local charity. The program's goal is to enable war widows to achieve financial independence and support their families. I learned that the house where lunch is served is also home to a boutique filled with hand-crafted items also made by widows.

Eventually, I googled my way into the name of this place: Ashghalouna; the English spelling of the word that means "our work" in Arabic. I later learned that the organization's promotional materials use the French spelling: Achghalouna. Google turned up a one review and then another and a phone number. I was on the right track, but I still needed directions or a map showing me how to find their location. Relying on over-the-phone descriptions can range from frustrating to futile and I admit I didn't even try.

It was about that time that my friend got back to me about lunch. She organized a group of 10 of us to go together. Friday, we all went and it was wonderful. Here's some of what was included in the buffet that day:

I highly recommend it. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was serene and comfortable.  And now I know how to get there!  I've tagged this post and the photos in it with the exact location of Ashghalouna's boutique and lunch location.

Lunch was served shortly before 2pm and includes a selection of beverages and desserts. You definitely have to reserve well in advance, so be sure to call ahead. They appeared to be fully booked the day I was there and I'm sure that's typical.

Finally, a brief recap:
Name: Ashghalouna
Phone: +961 (0)1 366 758
What: Lunch (and don't forget to check out the boutique too)
When: Fridays at 1:30
Cost: $30 per person


  1. Oh my word! What a scrumptious posting! Fun to hear about your quest to find that place! Great photo of the exterior and the interior yummies!
    I wonder how long it would take me to get to Ashghalouna from EAGAN for lunch??

  2. Wow, my mouth is watering just looking at this feast!

  3. The meal looks delicious and the concept of the house is admirable to give these women a hand up on a better life....

  4. Looks "Yummy".
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Sounds delightful! I will try to go in July.

  6. i will infidelity try it! i am big fan of these places thx for sharing.. it reminds of a place called " Tawleh" in achrafieh meaning Table in English." Tawleh" is worth a try as well they bring everyday a lady to cook the specialties of a certain region from Lebanon, and i think a certain amount of the money goes to help the family

  7. Based on your blog I have just made a booking for 22nd July! Thanks!

  8. Joelkh, yes, Tawleh is great too. I've been once but didn't take a single photo. I guess I'll have to go back ;)

    Nigel, I'm so pleased! I'm sure you'll enjoy it.