Sunday Oct 27, 2013

Shawarma 'inventor' Kadir Nurman dies in Berlin

BERLIN: Kadir Nurman, the man largely credited with inventing the doner kebab, also known as shawarma, has died in Berlin aged 80.

Nurman was born in Istanbul, Turkey before moving to Stuttgart, Germany at the age of 26.

He then moved to west Berlin, where he worked as a mechanic for a printing press.

Nurman set up a stall in then West Berlin in 1972, selling grilled meat and salad inside a flat bread, having observed the hurried pace of life in the city.

He reasoned busy workers might appreciate a portable meal.

Nurman was recognized as the inventor of the now ubiquitous fast food, also widely known by its Arabic name shawarma or the Greek name gyros by the Association of Turkish Doner Manufacturers in 2011.

Nurman, who emigrated to Germany in 1960, did not patent his invention, and thus did not make a significant profit from the kebab's success, although he wasn't bitter about it.

He was happy the invention provided employment for so many Turkish workers in his adopted city, and was enjoyed by millions.