Syrian woman uses sign language to teach cooking online

DAMASCUS (XINHUA) – With the swift movement of her hands, Aman Ashi, a 21-year-old Syrian woman, uses sign language to teach her deaf fellows how to cook famous Syrian cuisines through her YouTube channel.

As a toddler, an illness stripped Ashi of her hearing, but she grew up in a loving family that gave all the care she needed to become an independent person.

When she was young, Ashi used to watch her mother cooking in the kitchen and gradually developed this interest into a talent.

“I was amazed when she gradually started learning how to cook, particularly some difficult meals,” Basima Zoubi, Ashi’s mother, told Xinhua.

With time, Ashi mastered the whole gamut of the meals her mother could cook, and started to try adding new ingredients to make the food more delicious and create her own recipes.

Aspiring to make a famous cook, the young woman learned how to differentiate between several kinds of spices by their smell before learning their names with the help of her mother.

Standing in her kitchen, Ashi showed Xinhua how she teaches the deaf to make leek soup on her Youtube broadcast. She first spelled the name of the meal she was making by virtue of sign language before moving on to explain the ingredients, while her mother, as the camerawoman, was recording the process on a mobile phone.

When the lecture is over, Ashi said she will do simple editing on her phone before uploading the video onto YouTube.

Calling the page “Aman Ashi Kitchen,” the young woman has published 40 videos so far with about 1,700 followers, hoping to reach more specific viewers in the future as there are not many channels for deaf people on social media.

“I love cooking so much and through YouTube, I cooked for the deaf people and have received very good interaction and admiration. I use the sign language to interact with YouTube’s audience,” she said in sign language through her mother’s translation.

Mona Mzarza, one of Ashi’s friends who is also deaf, told Xinhua that she benefits a lot from Ashi’s videos as understanding regular cooking videos is difficult for her.

“I am learning how to cook from Aman’s videos and the meals I am cooking are delicious thanks to her simple videos as the regular ones are difficult for me to understand,” Mzarza said.