“It all started because I fell in love. I think most great stories stem from love, right? I was just an American girl who had never even tried Saudi food let alone cook it.”

Noor Al Qahtani, a resident of a small-town in eastern Tennessee fell in love with her now husband and was adamant to learn how to cook his favorite dishes. Although she wasn’t known for her cooking skills, Noor quickly learned the ins and outs of Saudi cooking and kept a notebook with all the recipes and notes. Around 2007, after the birth of her son, Noor created “Ya Salam Cooking” an online blog now containing hundreds of recipes of Middle Eastern origins with a specific emphasis on Saudi cuisine.

Although Al Qahtani studied fashion design and marketing in Chicago and Atlanta, she began to gravitate towards the field of graphic design. “Graphic design is certainly what I enjoy doing and what I wish I had known earlier in life. The graphic design field is just flooded with all kinds of parts and I am very drawn to typography. It has a beautiful history after all. Did you know that type was around even before the fifteenth century?” commented Al Qahtani passionately. She continued, “As for the food well who does not love food? I have always been a family person and I love that food can bring people together. I also love how we always associate good memories with food like things our mother made us as children or what we had on a holiday. Food is art in my book because not just anyone can come up with a beautiful and delicious dish.”

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