You know you’ve lived in the Middle East for long when…

Pristine loves shawarma

The scenario when I come home from work at night is this:

I open the door and look around for my children before I can even remove my shoes. The little boy, like a dog meeting his owner for the first time after a long separation, runs up to me and clutches at my knees, looks up and gives me that oh so cute look, drool and all.

I get down and we roll on the floor kissing each other.

Uh-huh, we are like dogs in that sense.

And then he flips my blouse looking for the portable cafeteria. He’s 18 months and he is still breastfeeding and showing no signs of stopping.

My other child, the much older one waits for her turn. She used to take the stage (my lap) when I go home before baby brother came. Now, she timidly waits until the little brother is finished with his piece of mommy time and she sits down on my lap.

Usually, she starts talking about what happened in school with all the details. But yesterday, she came to me with dropped shoulders and said,

“Mama, my classmate had shawarma during our lunch break AND I can’t stop thinking about it.”

What can a mom do? I told her to get dressed and we’re walking to the nearest local cafe to get a Shawarma. She was ready in two minutes!

So yeah. You so know you’ve been living in the Middle East for long when your child craves for yummy street food shawarma instead of cheese burger or regular sandwich!


What is shawarma?

Shawarma is a Middle Eastern sandwich or wrap made with shawarma meat. Lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats are placed on a spit (commonly a vertical spit in restaurants), and may be grilled for as long as a day. Shavings are cut off the block of meat for serving, and the remainder of the block of meat is kept heated on the rotating spit. Most shawarmas are only cooked in the evenings and they are available in street food joints rather than in restaurants.


  1. aaawww that’s a heartwarming scene to come home to every single day…

    My son too loves biryani rice – Arabic and Indian version. he likes it even better than sinangag yay!



    1. Amazing how kids adapt to the (food) culture. Once when Pristine was sick and lost her appetite, I asked her what she wants to eat. Anything. And she answered back: Mutton Mandi!!



  2. Nice story . . . I could see you rolling on the floor with your baby 😉 And as for schwarma? Oh, I crave a good one! Like we had in Ramallah when we lived there. With the works, everything on top! It’s the best street food in the world (not that I have tried all street food 😉



    1. I also crave it from time to time! I know when we live Dubai to live in a non-shawarma country, I will really miss it!



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