Hands Up Foundation is now Action Syria

MarmalAid – you spread on your toast, we’ll spread the love

Marmalade, the taste, smell and sight of it on toast conjures up different feelings for everyone. For us, it is Damascus, the scent of orange blossom and the start of a revolution which became a civil war…


MarmalAid is a social enterprise inspired by Syria’s own bitter oranges, and their trees which grow in the old city of Damascus. We have created our own MarmalAid, with a Syrian twist, and have been selling it for the last three years, with all profits donated to the aid projects we support in and around Syria.


Bitter Orange with Cardamom or Orange Blossom –  our medium-cut bitter orange marmalade is currently made in two glorious varieties: infused with cardamom or with orange blossom, and made by award winning Wild and Fruitful, a Cumbria-based jam maker. You can use our marmlade on buttery toast, make cocktails with it or even roast a ham, and all with a delicious twist. Buy this online for £5 from the home of the World’s Original Marmalade Awards, Dalemain Mansion. We can also supply large volumes for favours at weddings and big events. For larger orders, please contact contact@actionsyria.org.uk.


The premise behind everything that Hands Up does is simple and positive; by reminding people of the wonderful things about Syria and celebrating its food we have the power to do something good. Sharing and enjoying food is a vital part of Syrian culture, and one which everyone can relate to. For us this started with the Syrian Supper Club, gathering people around a kitchen table for a Syrian-inspired feast and inviting them to donate in return. As the Syrian Supper Club grew in size and geographical spread (Syrian Suppers have been held everywhere from Melbourne to Istanbul) we returned to our inspiration; the food and ingredients that had delighted us in Damascus. Remembering the weeks running up to March 2011, when the streets of the city were filling with uncertainty and conflict, we spent our time making marmalade. This and the house in the old city provided a sticky orange-scented refuge from the turmoil outside and the thought of having to leave. What better way to remember Damascus and raise money for people so desperately in need, than through those bitter oranges so synonymous with Syria. Our MarmalAid takes its inspiration from them and uses the flavours that we encountered so often when living there: star anise, cardamom, rose water, orange blossom and ginger.

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