After enduring the long weeks of Operation Swords of Iron and witnessing the war’s toll on both sides of the collapsing border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel, Nof Atamna Ismaeel shared her emotional journey.
She revealed her deep depression, bleak days, and her struggle to maintain hope for a peaceful resolution.
“The massacres in the south are undeniably shocking and warrant condemnation. The loss of innocent lives, be it Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, children, elderly women, Israelis, or Palestinians, affects me equally,” she emphasized. “The human soul is the most precious of all, the Holy of Holies. It’s crucial to bear this in mind constantly throughout this conflict.”
A microbiology doctor and the winner of Master Chef‘s fourth season, Ismaeel, confessed to her 137,000 followers that “for two weeks, I’ve been unable to speak, let alone function amidst this overwhelming sorrow. The tears have drained me, and pessimism has engulfed my spirit. Getting out of bed has become a challenge, and I’ve plunged into deep depression, losing faith in humanity and its purported values.”
‘Hope for peace’
Yet, she concluded her message with a wish for security, peace, and serenity, saying, “My hope for peace and brotherhood remains unshaken. Love still resides within me, and it will ultimately prevail.”
Nearly a decade has passed since she claimed victory on the popular cooking reality show, making Ismaeel a household name in many Israeli homes, even without a restaurant bearing her name.
Born in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, she frequently journeys within Israel and around the world, offering a vital and authentic Arab-Israeli presence in a culinary community that often, regrettably, tends to exclude.
Her Instagram account has evolved into a powerful tool for both culinary education and enlightenment, transcending the realm of food.