73-year-old Umm Jalal of Baghdad serves up traditional Iraqi grilled food to her loyal patrons
Hajja Zahra, who is nicknamed Umm Jalal, spends most of her time in her restaurant located in Baghdad governorate, which dates back more than 10 years.
She said, “I am one of the people who love the kitchen and cooking, and I love delicious and elaborate food. I used my experience in the kitchen and food mastery to cook vegetarian food as well, but in my home and with its delicious flavor. Therefore, I put all my experience and effort in making vegetarian food, and that this food comes out with a distinctive flavor, and my family loves it.”
And she continued saying, “I worked for a year in my house, cooking food, distributing it to people personally, and delivering it through the available means of transportation,” stressing that this work was tiring. Umm Jalal indicated that this tiredness quickly turned into joy when she sensed that this food was highly appreciated by the customers, which encouraged her to open a restaurant.
The young man, Karrar Jabbar, who frequents Umm Jalal Restaurant, says that he “constantly desires her special food”, adding “she is considered a woman who is willing to work in order to help her family and keep up with life.”
While Ali Hassan said about the restaurant, that sitting in it is “pleasant and special, we love her like our mother, and we ask her for grilled food, such as Iraqi kebabs and tea on charcoal, and it has a special taste, and with the passage of time we began to call her the beloved mother, Umm Jalal was able to make her restaurant a family that gathers everyone around her table.”