Abu Shakir, Creator of Damascus' Most Famous Milkshakes

6 more in collection Damascus' Most Famous Juice Bar


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The reportage is about the most famous milk shake bar in Damascus, even in whole Syria. It is called Abu Shakir and is situated in downtown of Damascus, close to Parliament or Yousef al-Azmeh Square. Adnan al-Omari, also known as Abu Shakir, started his job in 1953 and still keeps his shop, but he is only supervisor now. His two sons are the main caretakers of the family business. There is economic crisis in Syria but Syrians still come to his place to buy fresh juices, shakes and fruit salads.

Adnan al-Omari - the original owner of shop
Muhammad al-Omari - his son, one of two responsible persons
The video was made in front of juice bar Abu Shakir.

Street in front of Abu Shakir

Muhammad al-Omari + his crew

Bananas hanging over window

Customers eating a cream

Adnan al-Omari
“Firstly, my father was the first juice maker in Syria. He started squeezing oranges, grapefruits, grapes and other kinds of fruit. But manually, not by electrical machines. “

Old photographs of Adnan al-Omari

Adnan al-Omari
“I was working with my dad from 1953 I was in third grade of primary school. I kept this interest and work next to my father. Firstly it was carrot juice, then apple juice and banana shake. Then I continued working between manually or mechanically squeezed juice and then cocktails.”

Adnan al-Omari posing with old photograph

Muhammad al-Omari preparing drinks

Customer drinking a cocktail

Abu Hamzeh posing with cocktails

Detail of Muhammad al-Omari

Adnan al-Omari
“We started with banana milk shakes and my dad brought me the cocktail milk machine and he used to bring me 4 to 5 kilos of bananas every day. I used them all and when customers came and ask for it, I had no one. So I asked: “What about another fruit cocktail?” They asked me: “What fruit?“ “Apples, carrot, oranges, grapes, bananas, and others. Try it! They happily drunk it and liked it. “

Adnan al-Omari and Abu Hamzeh speaking inside of the juice bar

Adnan al-Omari
“From the time of my father, the most important think was hygiene and generousness. Naturally we have to think about hygiene. If every customer wants extra bananas, we will give him extra bananas, even we give him extra glass of cocktail, it will be on us. “

Detail of fruit salads and cocktail with sour cream

Adnan al-Omari
“My children work in the business now and brought something new there, like adding qishteh, honey, sour cream, nestle and so on. They do good job.”

Customers inside of juice bar

Adnan al-Omari
“The taste is most important thing. And dealing with people.”

People in front of Abu Shakir

Adnan al-Omari
“We build our business also on natural and fresh juices whatever it costs. The fruits, what we use, they are from market. Every day I buy and process. We don´t store it, I buy it every day.”

Crew of Abu Shakir

Adnan al-Omari
“The volume of sugar and ice depends on customer. We keep fruits in fridge.”

Detail of old photograph

Adnan al-Omari
“We tried to make prices a little bit higher, cause prices of fruits got higher. For long years we are keeping the highest possible quality and low prices.”

Muhammad al-Omari in his juice bar

Adnan al-Omari
“There are no foreigners. Our customers are diverse - kids, adults… All kind of people.”

Adnan al-Omari in front of juice bar

Adnan al-Omari
“All juices what we have, all of them are wholesome for people. No matter if it is carrot juice, orange juice, apple juice, mixed cocktails from banana and fruits or banana shake with qishteh. People in the world are drinking fizzy drinks, which are not healthy at all. I have everything, juices are full of fruits.”

Detail of place in front of juice bar

Adnan al-Omari
“Everything is clean and fresh. Why you should drink fizzy drink and don´t drink juice? I don´t search for better business, thanks God we are well. I would like to give an advice that there is no better drink than fresh juice.”

Customer eating sour cream

Muhammad al-Omari
“I work here 22 years, from my childhood. And I work with my father.”

Muhammad al-Omari decorating the cocktails

Muhammad al-Omari
“I like simple juices. For example, orange or banana. Or made from two kinds like orange and banana or three kinds like orange, apple and banana. “

Detail of place in front of juice bar