Arab American and Middle Eastern immigrants have had a unique experience in the U.S. With a history that dates back more than 100 years, Arab Americans of every generation have brought their food and history with them, and have often used restaurants as a center of culture and a way to create their own American and Arab story. One popular restaurant owner has married his love of his hometown—Damascus, Syria—with his love of his present home in Little Rock, Arkansas. The result is delicious in taste, rich in history, and demonstrative of Arab American ingenuity that’s existed for generations.
Kayla Stewart is a freelance writer and new Gravy podcast reporter who will consider herself a Houstonian no matter where she lives (she lives in Harlem). In normal times, she can be found reading, running, or traveling, often playing Sudoku on a plane or train. This year, she can be found rereading her favorite books, biking, looking at any and all food photos on the internet, and scrolling through Wikipedia to see what’s true or not on The Crown. She hosts conversations on Black Food Folks, and her writing can be found in Eater, The New York Times, and Grub Street.