October 31, 2013
What KFC’s Exit from Syria Says About the Country’s Horrifying Food Crisis

In 2006, Kentucky Fried Chicken opened Syria’s first American restaurant in Damascus. The franchise weathered more than two and a half years of war, but this month, it became one of the last foreign businesses in the country to close its doors.
The picture of a quintessential American brand thriving in an “Axis of Evil” country currently targeted by U.S. sanctions may seem contradictory at first blush. Yet, in the Middle East, people have spent up to seven times their daily income on a bucket of fried chicken. Even in the Gaza Strip, where the average income hovers around $2 (U.S.) per day, KFC remains popular. The KFC branch in Al-Arish, Egypt has smuggled in deliveries through Hamas’s tunnels for $30 a meal.   The United Arab Emirates, a country that has roughly the same population as New Jersey, opened its 100th KFC branch this May. Libya and Iraq crave KFC no less:  Knockoffs of the restaurant— “Uncle Kentucky” in Tripoli and Fallujah—thrive in places where American ideas may not be winning hearts and minds, but they are winning stomachs.
Read more. [Image: Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters]

What KFC’s Exit from Syria Says About the Country’s Horrifying Food Crisis

In 2006, Kentucky Fried Chicken opened Syria’s first American restaurant in Damascus. The franchise weathered more than two and a half years of war, but this month, it became one of the last foreign businesses in the country to close its doors.

The picture of a quintessential American brand thriving in an “Axis of Evil” country currently targeted by U.S. sanctions may seem contradictory at first blush. Yet, in the Middle East, people have spent up to seven times their daily income on a bucket of fried chicken. Even in the Gaza Strip, where the average income hovers around $2 (U.S.) per day, KFC remains popular. The KFC branch in Al-Arish, Egypt has smuggled in deliveries through Hamas’s tunnels for $30 a meal.   The United Arab Emirates, a country that has roughly the same population as New Jersey, opened its 100th KFC branch this May. Libya and Iraq crave KFC no less:  Knockoffs of the restaurant— “Uncle Kentucky” in Tripoli and Fallujah—thrive in places where American ideas may not be winning hearts and minds, but they are winning stomachs.

Read more. [Image: Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters]

  1. thepovertyline reblogged this from theatlantic
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  10. raw-r-evolution reblogged this from knowledgeequalsblackpower and added:
    This must have been an advertising ploy ?
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  12. revolutionary-hippie reblogged this from knowledgeequalsblackpower and added:
    Good. KFC is poison, anyway.
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  16. wellgawtdayum reblogged this from knowledgeequalsblackpower and added:
    ^^^^^ that comment tho too true
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  23. knowledgeequalsblackpower reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Oh yes. Talk about Syria (where bombs are going off and killing people) but center the story around buckets of fried...
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