A SYRIAN mum-of-three says that her love of cooking has helped her make friends as she settles in the Inverclyde community.

Ahed Alshweiti, 39, has lived in Crosshill Gardens in Port Glasgow with her husband Amin, 45, and children Suleiman, 18, Hamza, 14 and Omar, nine, for three years.

Since arriving in the Port, the family has been involved in a lot of local celebrations including International Women's Day and Refugee Day.

During these events Ahed's talent for making traditional dishes has shone through.

The talented cook was approached by the Our Place Our Future project about making a series of videos demonstrating how to make authentic Syrian dishes.

The videos - filmed and edited by Ahed's son Hamza - are now attracting plenty of attention and some fantastic feedback.

Ahed says she is very proud to be inspiring people with her passion for traditional cuisine.

She told the Tele: "I love to cook and make food for people.

"At the celebrations, I would get a lot of good feedback which helped me get to know people and make friends.

"I'm very happy that I can share my cooking in this way.

"The videos are for people who want to learn something new.

"It gives them something different to try."

Ahed learned how to cook by watching her mum when she was growing up and now enjoys making a whole range of dishes.

The family have to travel to Glasgow to get hold of some of the most traditional ingredients for the authentic recipes.

In one of her Facebook videos Ahed makes a tabbouleh salad and a traditional egg and tomato dish.

She also plans to film the preparation of baklava and falafel, and together with Hamza, will upload the videos to YouTube.

Ahed took a course in food and hygiene at Stepwell in Greenock two years ago.

The Alshweiti family lived in Syria until around 2010.

They spent time in Homs and also in Lebanon on the border of Syria, before fleeing the war.

Prior to settling in the Port, the family were in London, Manchester and Paisley.

They were the first Syrian family to settle in Port Glasgow and are one of around 50 refugee families currently settled in Inverclyde.

Ahed's husband Amin volunteers for the local shopmobility scheme.

Son Suleiman is keen to get into an apprenticeship in car maintenance, and Hamza is interested in electrical engineering.

The family of five love their community in the Port.

Ahed added: "It's been difficult with the language at times but people are very friendly everywhere we go.

"We didn't know the other Syrian families when we moved here but we've got to know them.

"Everyone has been very welcoming and we've had no problems settling in.

"This is our home now."