New Alternate District eatery helps Syrian household rebuild after tragedy

For one Syrian immigrant household, sharing their culturally traditional meals like beef shawarma or a falafel wrap has turn into a path to their therapeutic. After shedding two family members through the pandemic this summer season, they turned their tragedy into triumph by residing out their dream of opening a restaurant.

In Syrian tradition and the Kurdish language, the phrase daanook represents a stage of cooking bulgur wheat. The wheat is boiled after which the wheat is shared with neighbours as a part of of the communal blessing on the meals. 

Daanook can be the title of the brand new Syrian restaurant that opened just lately within the Alternate District — through the pandemic and through the week that Manitoba‘s code crimson lockdown restrictions got here into power. The institution opened on Nov. 10 and provides takeout and supply companies solely.

“Canada is sort of a mosaic of cultures so it is essential if every tradition has their very own meals … we wish to take part in that to have the Syrian meals,” stated co-owner Shler Ali.

The rooster shawarma wrap meal may be very in style and comes with fries, falafel, Kibbeh, salad and garlic sauce. (Orinthia Babb/CBC)

The household owned restaurant can be operated by Ali’s brother, Jwan Ali, her husband, Karwan Kahil, and her sister-in-law, Riwas Kahil, who additionally produce other jobs. 

Ali’s late brother, Nour Ali, and her father, Hamsa Ali, each died this summer season when their boat capsized on Lake Winnipeg. 

Nour Ali was often known as an influential member in the neighborhood who additionally invested within the financial system by means of entrepreneurship.

He not solely operated a renovation enterprise that employed refugees referred to as Thank You Canada, however he actively labored to assist different immigrants by beginning the Kurdish Initiative for Refugees, Inc.  

“My brother was truly a frontrunner in the neighborhood and he had a mission of serving to everybody in want. So he was working and sponsoring many households,” Ali stated.

Daanook Restaurant’s photograph collage that’s prominently positioned below the menu board for instance the daanook means of boiling Bulgar wheat within the Syrian tradition (Orinthia Babb/CBC)

Nour Ali, who was 42, is survived by his spouse, Maysoun Darweesh, 41, with whom he fled Syria earlier than settling in Winnipeg in 2012. He additionally had two daughters, ages 13 and 16.

Shler Ali stated the Winnipeg group actually rallied round their household to indicate large assist this summer season after experiencing that private tragedy. 

‘Persons are very loving and supportive’

“He was a principal core and the primary stone in our life. And by shedding them, after we simply began to quiet down within the metropolis we felt like disconnected,” stated Ali.

“After we noticed the place within the Alternate District — which we contemplate it Winnipeg’s coronary heart, we felt like that is it. It can convey us again. And truly it does. It does. Persons are very loving and really supportive,” she stated.

Now that Daanook Restaurant is open for service, individuals residing and dealing close by have proven assist for the brand new eatery.

“It was truly nice. We did not count on that,” Ali stated. “Folks had been loving our meals and whoever got here, they got here again. And I am proud of that.”

Appetizers embody tabbouleh salad, fatoush salad and hummus. (Orinthia Babb/CBC)

Ali stated there are distinct cultural variations and regional variations between the identical meals you discover in North American mass grocery shops and what they make from scratch at their restaurant. 

For instance, she famous that although native grocery shops supply various flavours of hummus, which is a conventional dip fabricated from chickpeas, there’s just one unique kind of hummus in Syria.

They add their very own distinctive collection of toppings that embody pomegranate seeds, entire chickpeas, parsley flakes, black pepper and olive oil so as to add a pop of color and flavour. 

Ali additionally defined that baklava pastry has many variations relying on the area it comes from. Within the Syrian model they add pistachios to the flaky dessert.

“It is humorous in each tradition there’s a meals that it is for the entire space. And each nation they’ve their very own model. So that is the Syrian model. There may be Turkish model. There may be Japanese model,” Ali stated.

Like many native eating places, they don’t seem to be solely looking for to outlive through the present pandemic, but additionally to rebuild and thrive — one take-out meal at a time.

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