Expat Series: Meet Stephanie Manasseh

26.05.2017 - Editorial board

Canadian born and raised, Stephanie  fell in love in Europe and later fell in love with Belgium. We were delighted to meet this passionate young woman and founder of the Accessible Art Fair. Meet Stephanie Manasseh.

© Stephanie Manasseh - Selfie - BELGIANBOUTIQUE

Stephanie Manasseh 

Belgian boutiqueWhich opportunity / reason triggered you to move abroad?
Stephanie ManassehI am originally from Canada and left almost 20 years ago to live in Europe. I met my husband in Prague where I was living at the time. In 2004 my husband was relocated to Belgium with his work for the British Council.

Belgian boutiqueAre you planning to leave / stay / come back?
Stephanie ManassehOriginally, we were meant to be posted here for 1 year, which turned into four. After 4 years here with the British Council and two pregnancies later we decided to stay permanently in Belgium. I set up the Accessible Art Fair in 2006 and the rest is history! Our kids attend a Belgian school and we plan to stay here at least for the next 5 years. With my work I feel like I am not an expat, but a local. I speak French, and have lots of Belgian friends and pay Belgian taxes.

Belgian boutiqueWhat do you miss the most from your home country?
Stephanie ManassehI do miss my country and try to go back every two years. I think I miss the distinct change of seasons the most and the friendly atmosphere. People in Canada seem to be more open to meeting new people and seem to trust more easily which creates a happier atmosphere. 

© Stephanie Manasseh - Her home - BELGIANBOUTIQUE

 Stephanie's home

Belgian boutique : What product or service should you like to import to Belgium.
Stephanie Manasseh : This sounds like a huge cliché but I would love to have access to real maple syrup. The stuff you buy here is low grade and really expensive. Whenever I go back I try to bring back at least 2L of the brown gold.

Belgian boutique : What’s your favourite Belgian / home country dish? Where do you go for a truly Belgian meal?
Stephanie Manasseh : I enjoy Belgian food and I especially like mussels, which I only really discovered upon moving to Belgium. I love eating them on the coast, it just seems like the most authentic experience. We try to get to the coast at least once a month, even in the winter. I do love a long walk along the coast in any season.

Belgian boutique : Which expat should be known / discovered?
Stephanie Manasseh : I would like to nominate my good friend Tatjana Parac as a noted expat. She is a chemistry professor, PhD at Leuven University and I think through her teaching and research her contribution to Belgium is of upmost value.

Belgian boutique : What can you always find in my fridge?
Stephanie Manasseh : Good white wine, Real butter, Parmeggiano cheese, Eggs, Organic milk

© Stephanie Manasseh - What's in her fridge? - BELGIANBOUTIQUE

What's in Stephanie's fridge?