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Between the Lines

A House with a Date Palm Will Never Starve by Michael Rakowitz - Meeting 1 of 2

Monday, April 12, 2021 |
5:30PM - 6:30PM ET

This is a virtual event.
Between the Lines Book Club


Virtual Event - Penn Museum


Part of the Between the Lines Book Club.

The Penn Museum invites you to unlock the human experience through literature. Join us for a unique twist on the classic book club model featuring carefully curated books with cultural connections, moderated by Penn Museum curators and special guests. A new book will be featured each month, from February through April.

Each month, Between the Lines participants will meet twice through interactive video conferencing: a kickoff and a concluding meeting at the end of the book. Readers are encouraged to continue the conversation and chat beyond these virtual meetings in the private Between the Lines Facebook Group. The moderator will share additional connections to the collection, supplemental readings and videos, and guiding questions through the virtual meetings and Facebook Group.

April's Featured Book

A House with a Date Palm Will Never Starve by Michael Rakowitz

A House with a Date Palm Will Never Starve

by Michael Rakowitz

Date syrup has been central to Iraqi cooking and home life for centuries. In this unique book, a fusion of contemporary art and food, Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz and 41 celebrated chefs present delicious dishes using this staple of Middle Eastern cuisine.

In 2018, Rakowitz unveiled a winged bull sculpture on the Fourth Plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square, a life-size replica of a Mesopotamian lammasu made from thousands of date syrup cans. The artist’s choice of material was laden with historical significance: for decades, until the industry was decimated by war and disease, dates had been Iraq’s second biggest export after oil. As his winged bull sat upon the Fourth Plinth, Rakowitz invited chefs from around the world to create new and classic recipes using date syrup. Chefs and food writers including Yotam Ottolenghi, Alice Waters, Claudia Roden, and others, created dozens of sweet and savory dishes with date syrup, now collected in this cookbook.

Moderated by Yaroub Al-Obaidi

Join special guest speakers and moderator Yaroub Al-Obaidi for a twist on the classic book club as we explore food and love as a means for universal connection. Participants will be invited to try recipes in the comfort of their own home while we dive into the historical context of dishes enjoyed throughout the Middle East.

$5 General Admission

Includes 2 meetings.

The Penn Museum is committed to making this group accessible. Limited scholarships, which include a digital copy of the book and waived registration fees, are available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with subject line “Between the Lines Scholarship” to express your interest.

Part of the Between the Lines Book Club.