During the past year, the Duchess of Sussex and former actress Meghan Markle has been visiting a Muslim heritage center whose members were affected by the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire in London.
In her latest act of support for the center – and as her first solo project as a British royal – Markle has teamed up with the women of Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre to launch a charity cookbook, Kensington Palace announced on Monday.
Following the fire that killed more than 70 people in June 2017, a group of women began gathering at the Al-Manaar center and community mosque in West London to prepare fresh food for their families, friends, and neighbors.
Soon after, the initiative grew into a regular communal kitchen, named the Hubb Community Kitchen, which takes place twice a week.
The center had also offered victims of all faiths temporary shelter after the fire. In January 2018, Markle began making regular private visits to Al-Manaar.
“I immediately felt connected to this community kitchen. It is a place for women to laugh, grieve, cry and cook together,” Meghan wrote in the foreword.
She continued, “Melding cultural identities under a shared roof, it creates a space to feel a sense of normalcy – in its simplest form, the universal need to connect, nurture, and commune through food, through crisis or joy. Through this charitable endeavour, the proceeds will allow the kitchen to thrive and keep the global spirit of community alive.”
According to Kensington Palace’s statement, Markle was “inspired by how the project empowers women at a grassroots level” and decided to work on a project that helps expand the communal kitchen.
Therefore, she teamed up with the women of Al-Manaar to launch “Together: Our Community Cookbook”, a charity cookbook featuring over 50 recipes from across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The project is notably Markle’s first major initiative since marrying Prince Harry in May.