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Salwa Awadallah picks up the pot of stuffed vegetables − grape leaves, along with tiny squash, interspersed with slices of red tomatoes − and flips the contents onto a large platter. Clouds of steam and enticing aromas emanate from the open kitchen to the living room, putting everyone in a good mood.

The night before, Salwa’s daughter Samah and future daughter-in-law Sisi helped with the scooping...