Palestine, Cross-border

Jumbo Donair’s Small Act of Kindness Reaps Big Reward!

Food is definitely the right way into most people’s hearts and bellies.  Tag that along with a small dose of kindness and the results can turn out to be more than expected! For Maher Taweel, owner of Jumbo Donair, one small act of kindness actually saved his business.

One afternoon, a man in “who wasn’t in the best shape” came into the small diner and explained to Maher that he did not have enough money for food. With no hesitation, Maher told him,

“If you’re hungry, I give you food”

To Maher, it was just a human reaction, but to MacKenzie Brandvold, who was present when this act of kindness took place, it was something that could not go unnoticed. Mackenzie posted a photo of this encounter, that has since been shared nearly 10 thousand times, generating so much buzz that Maher opened shop next morning to find more customers than usual!


Palestinian Maher Taweel left Nablus, Palestine in 2002 and opened this small business in Canada, and was on the brink of closing it before all this had happened. After the new attraction to his place, Maher has decided to keep his business afloat, and perhaps even hire more workers! 

Suhair, wife of Mr. Maher, told Barakabits that although finding refuge in Canada and getting accustomed to the new lifestyle took some time, she still worked in hotels in order to learn everything properly and that puts her in the cooking business for 12 years! She has been helping her husband in the restaurant since day 1.

When Barkabits asked about the idea behind the name ‘Jumbo Donair’, which means lamb burger, she said, “I chose “Jumbo Donair” because it’s easy to remember and when people hear it, it catches their eye. It just represents the restaurant.”

It’s amazing how food and kindness can go a long way. Maher told Global News that “We should help people. Why not? If you can, just do it.”  Maher serves his customers with halal food, like our all-time favorite: Shawarma! There’s just no comparison when it comes to Middle Eastern hospitality.

After hearing about Jumbo Donair’s kindness and great reviews, John Marshall, one of Taweel’s new customers, said he had to support Taweel’s business.

“I read the story about how he helps people who don’t have enough money to eat,” Marshall said. “It’s giving me goosebumps. I feel warm about that.”

Many others have come down to taste Maher’s delicious Middle Eastern cuisine and thank him for his viral act of kindness. Who knows, perhaps with this recent attraction to the business, Mr. Taweel can introduce his fellow Canadians with some famous Nablus sweets, like Knafa! We wish him all the luck in the world because it’s people like him that make us proud! If you’re in Canada and would like to visit this shop, you can find directions and reviews here.

Don’t forget to share, and smile in support of Mr. Taweel 🙂 !


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Israa Elkhatib

I was born in Palestine but raised with the fireflies in Georgia. My teenage years were spent being the Muslim nerd who was known as the bookworm of the school. That followed me back to Palestine, to develop into being the girl with the big vocabulary. I spent most of my high-school days cursing Newton for not eating that apple. My English Literature Bachelor's degree was only obtained because I'm a nerd for literature and my minor in Translation pretty much pays the bills, thank you Birzeit University.Creative writing is my passion and reading is my escape from reality into a world where everything is the way you imagine it to be.

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