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“In Middle Eastern cultures, food and hospitality are the languages ​​of love” – Middle East Monitor

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Over 5 million people follow popular food content creator Ahmad Alzahabi on TikTok and can’t wait to see the next food recipe on his page.

Also known as “Golden Balance,” the first-generation Syrian-American connects a global community of food lovers and aspiring cooks online through his healthy, easy-to-follow recipes.

Born and raised in Michigan, the 25-year-old content creator continues to draw inspiration from her mother’s Middle Eastern-influenced cooking after growing up helping and watching in the kitchen.

He explains that food has always been the epicenter of his life since childhood. With his mother’s encouragement, he has mastered multiple dishes and continues his experimentation, creating his own unique dishes that whet his appetite.

“My relationship with food has always been different in my life. I grew up loving food. My mother invited me into the kitchen to help her cook the meals and prepare for the dinner party, which peaked my interest in cooking. explains Ahmad.

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Many of the ingredients and flavors he uses in his cooking are inspired by the aromas, colors and aromas of Syria and other Middle Eastern countries. “What I grew up with definitely affected my palette,” he says. It has always played a role in my passion for cooking and sharing it with the world.”

In an industry that tends to produce more of the same, Ahmad puts his own healthy twist on everyday pasta and curry recipes and features a section on his page dedicated to 60-second videos. He moves deliberately, accurately recording dimensions and offering alternatives as well as explaining why it is better to use such ingredients and cooking methods.

The whole vibe says, “Yeah, I can cook gourmet meals, and you can too.” Like Ahmad himself, approachable and encouraging.

Additionally, Ahmad is always mindful of framing recipes as his personal interpretation of classics rather than the only way to serve them.

“I encourage my fans to explore the kitchen and add flavors and ingredients that suit their tastes.” …” is often heard. Add to cooking. ”

Despite the talent he demonstrates and the time he has spent perfecting these fragrant dishes, Ahmad does not identify himself as a chef and has no aspirations to become one. .

“I think of myself as an average joker who likes food. Audiences enjoy my pure and honest personality.In the world of content creation, individuality is everything and I is perfectly myself,” says Ahmad. “I’m letting my fans know that this is a learning process for me too, so it’s okay to make mistakes because we’ll learn together.”

“My recipe development is ongoing,” he adds. “I often find myself keeping track of different recipes he tests throughout the day. He can also be influenced by what he craves.”

Palestinian’s culture and heritage is the best weapon against the Occupation – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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Palestinian’s culture and heritage is the best weapon against the Occupation – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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He now owns over 1,000 videos, but it was his signature sendoff, “Now Bismillah,” that catapulted him into the international spotlight.

The catchphrase he said came to his conclusion after a fan asked him why he didn’t say it like he would naturally say it while eating in his video.

“I asked myself the same question,” he admits. “And then I started seamlessly integrating this phrase into my videos. This phrase simply means “in the name of God.” ”

As a Muslim, he explained, the word is meant to seek and welcome blessings from God and to make things easy and good.

Many of Ahmad’s recipes come from a place of family, love, history and acceptance. For example, family dinners together were non-negotiable and an opportunity to tell stories and Islamic traditions related to the food their parents were eating.

“In Middle Eastern cultures, food and hospitality are often the language and custom of love, so whether you invite friends or just family, you share a meal together.”

“My father also played a big role, emphasizing the importance of the whole family attending dinner at 5:00 p.m. every day. I was able to become aware of and recognize the importance and emphasis placed on family and food, both in faith and culture.”

His handle, the Golden Balance, is inspired by his surname, Al-Zahabi (meaning “golden”), and represents the ultimate goal that his faith encourages followers to apply in all aspects of life. represents. Balance.

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Ahmad finds inspiration across a wide variety of cuisines, but his audience has the greatest influence through feedback.

A surreal moment for the young food content creator was when he began to receive recognition and support from key figures in the food industry he grew up with.

Ahmad is passionate about providing a healthier experience and continuing to innovate for his audience.

“My craft has been perfected over the years, but my long-term focus is on encouraging a healthy lifestyle balance when it comes to diet.” Promoting love through food, breaking boundaries in the kitchen, and continuing to inspire my fans to be the best versions of themselves.It all starts with food!”