Mohammad Zarqa can be heard calling out “yummy yummy” from miles away while he serves up his deliciously creamy dessert at Ramadan Nights Lakemba.
The owner of Yummy Yummy Knafeh, a Lakemba business serving Arabic sweets and coffee, has become quite the tik tok sensation since deciding to sell his knafeh at Ramadan Nights in 2017.
The queue for Mohammad’s stall generally stretches across the street, with people lining up to experience his cheesy cake encased with pastry and dripping with saffron syrup. And they also get a taste of Mohammad’s jolly personality and a chance to snap a photo with the “yummy yummy man”.
Mohammad started out selling honey and creams on the streets of Lakemba in 2008, and he’s watched Ramadan Nights Lakemba grow from a single street barbeque into one of Sydney’s most popular and diverse events.
“I set up my table on the footpath to sell honey when there was just one barbeque on the street. People slowly began to set up their own tables and the event grew organically from there,” Mohammad says.
“Now, most of my customers come from all over the state, I even get people from overseas .”
But Ramadan Nights Lakemba isn’t only about selling ‘yummy yummy’ food, Mohammad says its deeply significant for the thousands of Muslims who visit to break their fast each night during the holy month.
During the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, as soon as the moon is sighted, people of the Muslim faith are required to fast.
The fast begins from early morning until sunset and includes abstinence from food and drink. It promotes patience, discipline and increases purity of the mind and piety.
It is known as the month of Ramadan – one of the holiest months in the Islamic Calendar.
Nearly 24 per cent of the Canterbury-Bankstown community identify as Islamic faith, and thousands of them join their family and friends on the streets of Lakemba to break their fast and celebrate Ramadan.
Mohammad says that everyone is welcome to experience the delicious food on offer and see what Ramadan is all about.
“Come and enjoy the friendly atmosphere, it’s all about bringing everyone together, Muslims
Ramadan Nights Lakemba will transform Haldon Street into a global food bazaar every
night from 21 March-20 April, dusk until 3am.
For more details and to plan your trip, visit cb.city/RamadanNights