CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Falafel seller welcomes Donald Trump to Camden Town

'I just wanted to welcome Trump home because his mum is from Scotland'

24 May, 2019 — By Helen Chapman

WHEN Donald Trump returns to London next month, an army of protest­ers – and possibly a blimp – are expected to take to the streets to tell the US president he is not wanted here.

But Trump, who proposed a Muslim travel ban after he was elected and wants a wall built on the US-Mexican border, is welcome at a falafel shop in Camden Town.

In a risky move given the strength of feeling that surrounds the “world’s most powerful man” and a possible backlash from customers, Bassam Yas­sine has fixed up a sign outside his shop in Park­way declaring that Trump is welcome for lunch. It has not impressed all of his customers.

“One customer saw the sign on Monday and told me he would never come back,” said Mr Yassine, 41, who runs Round Falafel. “But the next day he was here buying his falafel. I think the falafel is too good.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has said Trump’s visit is a chance to “strengthen our already close relationship” but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said he will not attend the banquet for the president.

Mr Yassine said: “The first time he came I didn’t do anything, but this time I just wanted to welcome Trump home because his mum is from Scotland. He may say things, but he has not gone to war. Bush, Clinton and Obama all went to war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria. He’s a businessman. He said he wanted to fight North Korea then afterwards shook hands with them. That’s his way to get you. He talks his way to do the deal.”

The falafel maker arrived in Camden in 1999 from Lebanon.

“I came for a better life and the country was very welcoming,” he said. “The only other time I have put a sign up like this is three years ago when Camden Council weren’t collecting the rubbish. I wrote a sign saying ‘Camden Council you are dirty’.”

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