Omar Aziz, centre, with mom Fatima, at their Wrap and Roll restaurant at 1885 Fort St. On Saturday the family and staff volunteered their time to raise money for the victims of the Beirut explosion and raised $20,500. The store is still accepting donations. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Victoria family donates 878 falafel wraps to support Beirut blast victims

Wrap and Roll pulls in $20,500 during weekend fundraiser

It was a Saturday well spent as the Aziz family and their staff at Wrap and Roll restaurant used 70 kilograms of chickpeas to make all 878 falafel wraps they sold, for more than $18,000 raised.

Demand was so high they continued the sale on Sunday and were at $20,500, as of Monday including additional donations. All of which will benefit victims and families of victims who were affected by last week’s Beirut blast.

“We did very well,” said Fatima Aziz, partner to Mohamed and mother of Omar, who all work at Wrap and Roll. “All of that will be sent to Beirut.”

And that total could still grow, as the family is still accepting donations to the end of the week.

READ ALSO: Family’s restaurant to hold Saturday fundraiser for Beirut blast

“They need a lot of help. It’s sad,” said Omar. “I have friends there who have been through wars, civil war, and the Israeli war, and they have not been as affected as they have with this blast.”

Omar explained that a lot of people commute into Beirut to work. So when the blast happened, it affected a lot more than just Beirut.

“When I saw [the explosion] I was shocked,” Omar said. “You don’t expect that kind of stuff to happen. With COVID, the country was already in really bad shape. This blast is basically salt on the wounds.”

One man from Mohamed’s former village of Ketermaya was working as a security guard in Beirut when he was killed. And there are dozens of more stories like that, Omar said.

The Wrap and Roll restaurant on Fort Street across from the Royal Jubilee Hospital is popular for its falafel and shawarma wraps. Normally, the store is closed Saturdays, but word got out and there were lineups out the door to purchase the popular falafel wraps.

“We just about ran out of everything,” Aziz said. “Our staff volunteered, but we didn’t have enough staff for all [the demand]. We worked really hard to make sure everyone was satisfied.”

READ ALSO: Lebanese-Canadians look for ways to help while grappling with Beirut tragedy

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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