Arctic explorer’s abandoned ship to return to Norway mid-2013

Updated 27 November 2012
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Arctic explorer’s abandoned ship to return to Norway mid-2013

Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s three-mast ship Maud, long abandoned in the Canadian Arctic ice, will be salvaged and repatriated mid-2013, a Norwegian group announced Sunday.
The group, which plans to return the old polarship to Norway to be the centerpiece of a new museum, is this week in Cambridge Bay in Canada’s far north filming and photographing the shipwreck trapped in ice.
Jan Wanggaard, manager of the effort to bring the Maud to Norway, said the shipwreck was stripped by locals and torn by ice over the years, but also has been conserved by the cold temperatures “in an incredible way.”
“The oak wood in Maud still seems to be in prime conditions,” he said in a statement.
The documentary film team has prepared a tent on the ice with a dive hole inside for access under the ice “to document the old ship in her true element” on the seabed in the shallow waters of Cambridge Bay.
“Just to be here now in the winter — with temperatures around minus 30 Celsius — makes me feel much closer to the ship and its history than ever before during our two earlier summer surveys,” Wanggaard commented.
“The impressions of seeing and feeling her tied into the iron grip of the ice really makes me emotional and respectful to the ship and its physicality as well to the whole story of the ship.”
In 1906, Amundsen became the first European to sail through the Northwest Passage searching for a shorter shipping route from Europe to Asia, something explorers had been trying to find for centuries.
Five years later, he became the first person to reach the South Pole. His attempts to reach the North Pole however failed.
Amundsen again sailed through the Northeast Passage with the Maud in 1918-20, but was unable to get far enough north to launch a North Pole expedition.
Amundsen tried, and failed, one more time from the Bering Strait in 1920-21.
The Maud, built in Asker, Norway and named after Norway’s Queen Maud, was sold to Hudson’s Bay Company in 1925 and rechristened the Baymaud. It ended its days as a floating warehouse and the region’s first radio station before sinking at its moorings in 1930.
In 1990, Asker Council in Norway bought the wreck for just $ 1.
Cambridge Bay residents fought its removal but the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board granted an export permit for the ship in March.


San Francisco restaurants open kitchens to refugee chefs

Updated 24 June 2018
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San Francisco restaurants open kitchens to refugee chefs

  • The Refugee Food Festival started in Paris in 2016 and came to the US for the first time this year
  • The program lets refugees aspiring to be chefs work in professional kitchens

SAN FRANCISCO: At San Francisco’s Tawla restaurant, Muna Anaee powdered her hands with flour and gently broke off a piece of golden dough to prepare bread eaten in Iraq, the country she fled with her family.
Anaee was preparing more than 100 loaves for diners Wednesday night as part of a program that lets refugees aspiring to be chefs work in professional kitchens.
The Refugee Food Festival — a joint initiative of the United Nations Refugee Agency and a French nonprofit, Food Sweet Food — started in Paris in 2016 and came to the US for the first time this year, with restaurants in New York participating as well. The establishments’ owners turn over their kitchens to refugee chefs for an evening, allowing them to prepare sampling platters of their country’s cuisine and share a taste of their home.
Restaurants in 12 cities outside the US are taking part in the program this month.
“It’s been a big dream to open a restaurant,” said Anaee, 45, who now has a green card.
Anaee was among five refugees chosen to showcase their food in San Francisco — each at a different restaurant and on a different night, from Tuesday through Saturday. Organizers say the goal is to help the refugees succeed as chefs and raise awareness about the plight of refugees worldwide.
It’s important to “really get to know these refugees and their personal stories,” said Sara Shah, who brought the event to California after seeing it in Belgium.
Anaee and her husband and two children left Baghdad in 2013 over concerns about terrorism and violence. She worked as a kindergarten teacher in Iraq, not a chef, but was urged to pursue cooking as a career by peers in an English class she took in California after they tasted some of her food.
Azhar Hashem, Tawla’s owner, said hosting Anaee was part of the restaurant’s mission to broaden diners’ understanding of the Middle East — a region that inspires some of its dishes.
“Food is the best — and most humanizing — catalyst for having harder conservations,” she said.
The four other aspiring chefs serving food in San Francisco are from Myanmar, Bhutan, Syria and Senegal.
Karen Ferguson, executive director of the Northern California offices of the International Rescue Committee, said San Francisco was a good city for the food festival.
“We have so much diversity, and we see the evidence of that in the culinary expertise in the area,” she said.
The Bay Area has a high concentration of refugees from Afghanistan, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Eritrea and Burma, though exact numbers are unclear, according to the rescue committee. Its Oakland office settled more than 400 refugees in the Bay Area last year, but the number of refugees settling in the region has fallen dramatically since the Trump administration this year placed a cap on arrivals, Ferguson said.
Pa Wah, a 41-year-old refugee from Myanmar, presented dishes at San Francisco’s Hog Island Oyster Co. on Tuesday. She said she didn’t consider a career in cooking until she moved to California in 2011 and got her green card.
Cooking was a means of survival at the Thailand refugee camp where she lived after escaping civil conflict in Myanmar as a child. Participating in the food festival showed her the challenges of running a restaurant, but also helped her realize she was capable of opening her own, she said.