13 September, 2007

Somali taxi drivers, Pakistani doctors and I.T. guys

No, it's not a story out of Dubai.

There's also a global labor market .... in St. Louis:
At Sameem's, an Afghan restaurant on south Grand Boulevard, owner Fahime Mohammad said he was adding a nightly iftar special this Ramadan because his clientele had become increasingly Muslim.

"When we first opened up, it was mostly local Americans who came in," he said. "Now it's at least 50 percent Muslim immigrants — Somali taxi drivers, Pakistani doctors and I.T. guys."

Kazmi, a Pakistani who has been in business in Ballwin for a decade, has also added price specials for Ramadan, and is stocking a large supply of Medjool dates. It is traditional for Muslims to break their fast each day by first eating a date because, it is said, the Prophet Muhammad broke his own fast with dates.

About a mile away at Salam Mediterranean Marketplace, head chef Omar Shalabi manned the beef and chicken shewarma spits as one of Salam's owners, Rabieh Ead, helped several customers. The store opened in January, so this will be its first Ramadan, and the Palestinian men said they were expecting a rush for the holiday.
Read it here. The story is titled "Ramadan is all about fasting — and food."

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