Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
May 19, 2024
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May 8, 2024

Dreams Come True

New falafel house in the Rossmore Plaza has been eight years in the making
<p>Celebrating the grand opening of Nasr&#8217;s Falafel last month were (From left) Rossmore Plaza owner Pat Reid, Mayor Steve Ferguson Nabiha and  Nasr Mostafa, MPP Todd Smith and Ingrid Moore representing MP Ryan Williams. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)</p>
Celebrating the grand opening of Nasr’s Falafel last month were (From left) Rossmore Plaza owner Pat Reid, Mayor Steve Ferguson Nabiha and Nasr Mostafa, MPP Todd Smith and Ingrid Moore representing MP Ryan Williams. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

That’s how long it took Nasr and Nabiha Mostafa to find safety and a bit of prosperity in Prince Edward County.

Mayor Steve Ferguson joined with Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith and Ingrid Moore for Bay of Quinte MP Ryan Williams at Nasr’s Falafel last month to open the new eatery. 

Traditional chicken shawarma, falafel, kebab, and manakeesh are all on the menu. 

The Mostafas have been so busy ramping up their business and building a loyal customer base from their “Pop-Ups on the Bay” days at Zwicks Park that they have not had the time to host an official ribbon-cutting at their new location.

“I am very happy to meet with the Mayor and the customers and my friends too. I appreciate it,” said Mr. Mostafa. “We have worked very hard to make everybody happy. I’m feeling very happy today. It’s a special day for us.”

Nasr and Nabiha Mostafa and their five children escaped war-torn Syria. They were living in an encampment near the border between their former home country and Lebanon when PEC Syria was gathering steam as a local response to the Syrian refugee crisis in the fall of 2015.

The Mostafas arrived in Canada and settled into their new home country by taking English as a Second Language courses and building up their skill sets. They also welcomed another child.

Many hands make light work

Nancy Parks of PEC Syria noted that sponsoring extended families helps the newcomers build their own support and information networks, which lightens the load all round.

“Those here and established are able to support the new arrivals and help them learn about what’s in store in Canada. It’s wonderful to have the help,” Ms. Parks said. 

The Mostafas’ extended family members include Adnan Mustafa and Suhaila El Husein, also known as Papa Ganoush and Mama Hummus.They came and helped with painting and redecorating the new shop.

“They all support one another completely,” said Ms. Parks.

Nasr and Nabiha Mostafa. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

Local MPP’s go-to lunch spot

It wasn’t difficult for local MPP Todd Smith to make tracks to Nasr’s Falafel. His constituency office is right around the corner. He thanked the Mostafas for bringing the tastes of a new culture to the Quinte area and saluted the efforts they’ve made over the past eight years to become successful restauranteurs and hard working Canadians. 

“We are proud to have you in our community,” said Mayor Ferguson, noting that Syrian refugees arrive in Prince Edward County to become invaluable members of the community.

The dream of opening a restaurant where the family could share their rich cultural heritage has come true. The journey from Syria took passion, resilience and dedication.

“May Nasr’s Falafel be more than a place to dine,” said the Mayor. 

“May it stand as a bridge to connect hearts and flavours across borders, may your tables fill with laughter, your walls echo with stories and your kitchen forever be a place of warmth and tradition.” 

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