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Especially for Wassim

November 27th, 2007 · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

Yes, I concede, he beat me on this one.

But just for him, here is a wider shot of Damasco Bite that I took a while ago. The Syrian takeaway in east London, which deserves a full post, but I’m still reeling from the fact that he got there first!

London has just a handful of Syrians. Most Arabs in the capital are Palestinian, Iraqi, Lebanese and Egyptian. I know of just two Syrian restaurants here: Abu Zaad in west London, and Damasco Bite in the east. Except that Abu Zaad doesn’t really count because although it claims to be Syrian, it is actually run by a motley collection of Lebanese, Moroccans and Egyptians.

Damasco Bite is different.

But while London might be lacking Syrians, Manchester is very different. The UK’s second city has a large population of Aleppines. Mostly merchants, they moved to the city after the revolution, taking their money with them in fear their businesses would be confiscated. That’s why Syrian Air and BA (until recently) have direct flights from Manchester to Syria – and why BA flew straight into Aleppo.

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9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ???? // Nov 27, 2007 at 11.44 pm

    Wlah your venturing in my area and you don’t even give me a shout? Ana bfarjeek.

  • 2 sasa // Nov 27, 2007 at 11.46 pm

    Haha! I had no idea you lived in east London! Mr Hoxtonite!! I’m not rich enough or cool enough to hang around in the Brick Lane cafes.

  • 3 norman // Nov 28, 2007 at 5.43 am

    Syria says Israel ties only after full withdrawal
    Wed Nov 28, 2007 8:23am IST
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Syria told a U.S. peace conference on Tuesday that Israel should pull out of occupied land before Arab countries would normalize ties with the Jewish state.

    “The establishment of normal ties with Israel … must be the fruit of comprehensive peace and not precede it,” Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal al-Mekdad told a closed session of the conference in Annapolis, Maryland, attended by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    “To phrase it clearly and decisively that this (normalization) comes after the total Israeli withdrawal from the 1967 Arab land,” he said in a speech obtained by Reuters.

    “We are sincere in seeking a comprehensive and just peace and posses the political will to achieve it.”

    Talks between Israel and Syria collapsed in 2000 after Damascus declined an Israeli offer to withdraw from most of the Golan Heights but not what Syria described as the full occupied territory.

    Syria had made it clear that it would only attend the talks in Annapolis if the Golan was on the agenda. The demand was met by Washington which accuses Damascus of supporting militant Palestinian and Lebanese groups.

    Mekdad reiterated the Syrian position that Israeli occupation of Arab land was the root of instability in the Middle East.

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  • 4 Arima // Nov 29, 2007 at 12.39 am

    I’ll have to check this out but no way can you say things like that about Abo Zaad!!! A motley bunch?!? Eih el kalam al fadi da?!?!?
    Thanks for the tip off though…btw where do you think is the best Arab restaurant/ cafe in London?

  • 5 sasa // Nov 29, 2007 at 1.14 am

    Sorry Arima!! I love the atmosphere there – and the food is not bad. But come on, it’s not Syrian!!

    Ok, best Arab food in London has got to be Al-tanoor on Edgware Road. As much as I hate that street, the food in Al-tanoor is worth going for! Their speciality is saj…and their felafels are so fresh! Yum.

    If you’re feeling rich, Noura is unbeatable. But £5.50 for a boul of hoummous. Hmmm.

    How’s Oxford?

  • 6 Fifi // Dec 3, 2007 at 3.47 pm

    There’s also a good Syrian takeaway/shwarma in Edinburgh called Palmyra. It’s run by Syrians and it’s yummy!

  • 7 sasa // Dec 3, 2007 at 3.49 pm

    Fifi!! Where have you been. We’ve missed your blog. Palmyra sounds good. Where in Edinburgh is it?

  • 8 sasa // Dec 3, 2007 at 5.29 pm

    test

  • 9 Max // Dec 11, 2007 at 10.56 pm

    Damascu Bite have just recently opened a proper restaurant around Brick Lane. Whenever I used what little Arabic I know in Damascu Bite, it earns me some free baklava.

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