Shawarma Restaurant in Cairo Brings Taste of Home for Displaced Palestinians

General view of buildings by the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt. Reuters file photo
General view of buildings by the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt. Reuters file photo
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Shawarma Restaurant in Cairo Brings Taste of Home for Displaced Palestinians

General view of buildings by the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt. Reuters file photo
General view of buildings by the Nile River in Cairo, Egypt. Reuters file photo

A Palestinian businessman displaced by the war in Gaza is bringing a taste of home for fellow refugees with a Shawarma restaurant he has opened in Cairo, Reuters reported.
"The Restaurant of Rimal Neighborhood" offers Shawarma, a Middle Eastern dish of thinly-sliced meat, and other Palestinian and Arab dishes.
"The name comes to eternalize Rimal, my neighborhood, and to eternalize my homeland too," said Basem Abu Al-Awn.
"It is also to replace the restaurant I once had in Gaza. Two restaurants of mine, in addition to my house and the houses of my relatives, were destroyed," he said.
Abu Al-Awn hopes his time outside Gaza will be temporary and he is determined to return to the enclave once the war between Israel and Hamas is over.
"I will return, even if I have to set up a tent near the rubble of my house. We are going back to Gaza and we will rebuild it," he told Reuters.
Rimal was Gaza City's busiest shopping center, with large malls and main bank offices before Israeli forces reduced most of it to rubble. It was also home to Gaza's most famous Shawarma places.
"The taste is the same, people tell us it tastes as if they are eating it in Gaza," said Ahmed Awad, the new restaurant's manager.
"The Egyptians who get to try our place keep coming back. They tell us the taste is nice and is different from the Shawarma they usually get," Awad said.
Gaza Shawarma spices are unique and scarce in Cairo, so credit goes to Awad's father, who mixes those available to give the dish a special Palestinian taste.
Many thousands of Palestinians have arrived in Gaza since the war began last October.

Awad, his wife, and four children arrived in Cairo three months ago. In Gaza, he used to work in restaurants specializing in oriental and Western dishes.
With an end to the war looking like a distant prospect, Awad urged Palestinians not to give up.
"I advise them to work, and take care of their lives, their houses and everything may have gone but no problem, it will come back again," he said. "Once things are resolved we will return home, work there, and rebuild our country."
Palestinians now stranded in Cairo include businessmen, students and ordinary families who say they seek some kind of temporary legal residency to pursue investment and study plans until a ceasefire is in place.
Palestinian and Egyptian leaders reject the permanent settlement of Palestinians outside their land.
Om Moaz, from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, had been struggling to pay for a rented house and treatment for her husband and daughter in Cairo. She began working from home, offering Palestinian food through social media.
She found there was a strong demand from both Egyptians and Palestinians.
"Some were in the war and came to Egypt. So they started ordering my food. And thank God, it's a successful business and hopefully, it continues," she said.



King Charles to Take Part in Official Birthday Celebrations

FILE - Britain's King Charles III pauses during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London on Nov. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool, File)
FILE - Britain's King Charles III pauses during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London on Nov. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool, File)
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King Charles to Take Part in Official Birthday Celebrations

FILE - Britain's King Charles III pauses during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London on Nov. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool, File)
FILE - Britain's King Charles III pauses during the State Opening of Parliament at the Palace of Westminster in London on Nov. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, Pool, File)

King Charles III will take part in his official birthday celebrations in a little over two weeks, as the monarch eases his way back into public duties while continuing to undergo cancer treatment, Buckingham Palace confirmed on Thursday.
The news came amid reports that Prince William’s wife, Kate, will miss a public rehearsal for the event as she, too, receives treatment for cancer. It remains unclear whether the Princess of Wales will attend the main ceremony, known as Trooping the Color, on June 15, Britain's Press Association reported.
Kate has revealed few details about her illness or treatment since announcing her cancer diagnosis on March 22.
Charles had been returning to public duties before Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last week called a snap election. That forced the king to postpone engagements that might divert attention from the campaign, raising questions about whether he would attend the birthday celebration.
Trooping the Color is a 460-year old tradition in which troops in full dress uniform parade past the king with their ceremonial flag, also known as their “color.”

Charles is likely to travel to the event by carriage with Queen Camilla and is expected to watch the Trooping ceremony seated on a dais, rather than on horseback as he did last year.