In Ramallah’s busy streets, workers and children stare in awe as they approach the colorful van. It’s called The Food Train and is Palestine’s first ever mobile food van! Khaldun Barghouti and Abdul Rahman Bibi came up with this idea after serving 9 years and 8 years, respectively, in Israeli prisons. The Food Train is run by solar panels mounted on the van’s roof! So not only is it mobile, it is also eco-friendly.
They were inspired to do this project after catering to their fellow prisoners. Their van is painted several shades of vibrant colors in order to catch as much attention as possible.
The two men wanted their food service to be different than other food services as much as possible. Their food is much cheaper, while maintaining a high quality. They serve foods like a tuna-and-corn concoction, a specialty they have cooked up inspired by prison food. They also serve Middle Eastern traditional fast-food options, such as shawarma, as well as burgers, sausage, turkey and schnitzel sandwiches loaded with fries and pickled vegetables.
Their multi-color van travels to several places with a mission to fill the hungry bellies of Palestinian passers-by. The Food Train stops at various locations, such as parks, centers and villages outside of Ramallah, with a permit to park almost wherever they want. Being on the road for just a month and a half, they are currently directing their focus on exploring the best parking spaces to gain as much visibility and interest of passers-by as possible.
“At the beginning, curiosity attracted people to our truck,” Barghouti told Al-Jazeera. “Some people also wanted to support us because we are former prisoners. But now they are coming back for the food.”
With their permit to park almost wherever they want and the fact that their power is wherever the sun shines, your chances of buying from this eco-friendly Food Train are pretty high!
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