Gaza’s Culinary Hero: How Chef Hamada Sho Cooks Up Hope

Within the tents of Gaza, the sound of sizzling onions and the splatter of oil can be heard as a man named Hamada Sho attempts to bring a semblance of hope to the community. Every day, he uses whatever ingredients are available to feed the Gazan community.

In an attempt to feel a semblance of normalcy amidst the violence and ongoing genocide, he continued what he already does best: food vlogging and ASMR creation.

On a daily basis, he’d share an ASMR video of himself cooking up dishes. He’d rely on his unique comedic style of always staring at the camera and maintaining a stagnant poker face as he cooks.

What Does Chef Sho Cook Up?

Chef Sho doesn’t have the same luxury available to other chefs, as he has to rely on a limited number of ingredients to cook meals in Gaza. Many times, he cooks meals from aid packages, showcasing how much humanitarian aid can make a difference to the people of Gaza.

What is surprising is that when you learn about what he cooks, you would not expect him to work with limited ingredients. Some of the meals he has cooked so far include burgers, Ouzi rice with meat, and spaghetti with white sauce.

One of his most creative dishes is the beef taco (Gazan style), made with canned corned beef, Lebanese bread, corn, and onions. All his dishes are packed with flavor and give Gazans the opportunity to eat whole delicious meals.

That is his life today, but you must be curious about who Sho was before October 7…

What His Life Like Pre-War?

Sho had a very different life prior to the events of October 7. All the way back in 2018, he was actually part of a group called “The Social Media Army,” which was all about learning how to create out-of-the-box online content that matters.

Fast forward a couple of years to 2022, and we find Sho entering his journey of content creation and posting videos of himself trying out delicious restaurants and eateries across Gaza.

He visited many spots, including a Shami breakfast eatery called Taghmisa Shamia or Bistro Arafa, known for its succulent pit-roasted chicken.

If you watch his videos from that time, you’ll get to explore what used to be Gaza’s vibrant food scene. Today, Gaza no longer carries that same vibrancy, and when October 7 arrived, it faced a tragic change, one that also majorly affected the life of Sho.

How Everything Changed Since Oct 7

When October 7 arrived, Sho’s life took a major hit. He was newlywed as he got married to his wife, Lamis, 2 months before the war broke out. They had a dream of building a home together, one that would be equipped with a studio where he can film his videos.

But following October 7, everything changed. They were displaced 3 times from Gaza to the south of the strip, their house and studio were completely destroyed, and so they lost all their furniture and photography equipment. His biggest source of livelihood was Gaza’s restaurants, but they were also destroyed.

What About Today?

Taking such a major hit to one’s life, you’d think that Sho would have given up. Yet, that turned out to be far from true. He found a way to continue to create content but also aid his community. We hope there are more people like Sho, as just one person can make a major difference.

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