Razan Al-Sous … From the pharmacy to the cheese production

A Syrian refugee “gains Cyprus” by doing hallumi in northern England

One of the readings that fascinates me the most is the success stories, especially the Arabic ones, which turn into a rich material that floods the local and international media.

One of the wonderful stories filled with creativity is the story of Razan Al-Sous, a Syrian refugee who fled the civil war with her husband and three children to her homeland to settle in Yorkshire, in the north of England. However, the story of the young Syrian refugee Razan is among the most beautiful success stories because it is based on determination, will, creativity and the challenge of despair. Every refugee has lost everything and found himself making his life again and making it started it in a foreign country and in a compelling circumstance understood only by those who have lived it.

Razan Al-Sous made a lot of headlines after the cheese it produces won the bronze award, challenging Cyprus, the maker of halloumi cheese, and it is impressive that it was specialized in the field of pharmacy and had no experience in the field of cheese production . Fate decided that she should settle with her family in Yorkshire to be near any family member who had moved there long ago.

A set of dama cheese varieties for razan sauce

In an interview conducted by Asharq Al-Awsat with Razan Al-Sous over the phone, to get to know more about this successful woman and mother, which was driven by the suffering experienced by each refugee to create an opportunity to re through which to support it. small family.

Razan studied pharmacy but was unable to work in the field after arriving in England due to the complications associated with scientific certificates and the difficulty of modifying and allowing them to work.

Razan started her speech by saying that her financial circumstances prevented her from continuing her studies in England because the university fees were expensive and she was in dire need of work and help for her husband, which she had to take for change the course of her life. She told her, during a visit to the supermarket, that there is a shortage of white cheese types that is similar to what you find on the Middle East table, especially in the Levant countries, which are known for their love of cheese and the craftsmanship of its production.

Razan lacked hallumi cheese, which is attributed to its production in Britain and Europe only Cyprus, so he decided to do some home tests to make cheese in her own way. She faced the problem of the law of production of products in which milk is used in a home kitchen, so she had to find a solution to the complexity of laws related to food production in Britain, so Razan used the kitchen of a relative who owns a restaurant that sells chicken but he had to close it due to lack of work.He agreed to borrow his kitchen as a small factory for the production of hallum cheese.

In response to Asharq Al-Awsat’s question why Razan went into cheese production at a time when she has no experience in this field and where did this idea come from? Al-Sous replied: “I live in a city where milk is available in high quality and in abundance, and I have experience working in laboratories, so I decided to use my scientific experience and knowledge in a field that can it may seem different, but it is actually very similar. ”

This is what happened and after a tireless work with the help of her husband, Razan was able to launch the “Dama” brand for the cheese and not to call it halloumi cheese due to the criminal prosecution by Cyprus, which has the exclusive right of production. halloumi, Razan has thought of another name in which he describes cheese without mentioning the name halloumi, so he called it halloumi. The name Dama the Squeaky Cheese and this expression is known in Britain and is called the cheese that makes a sound when eaten, the language spoken as “zigga” and after four months of selling cheese on local farms and local shops selling high-end foods known as “deli”, she wanted Razan to compete in a competition to choose the best one. types of cheese and won the bronze award in a competition in which more than 2000 types of cheese participated in the Olympia Hall in London, and today its brand has won 33 awards and is currently selling its cheese to a well-known food chain in Britain.

Razan sauce created a lot of flavor in her cheese including nigella and herb in it

After talking to Razan I realized that the reason for her success is due to her scientific way of thinking which is supported by her studies in this field.When I asked her about the secret of the cheese she makes, her answer was scientifically one hundred percent.For fresh milk and how to fight bacteria and maintain quality and quality every time.

Razan was able to get her name in the British Parliament so that her case could be discussed after receiving a letter from a senior lawyer in London on behalf of the official bodies in Cyprus that prevented her from naming her cheese as hallumi. Rather, the origin of the cheese is Arabic, and the word “alum” at the end of the word was used by the pharaohs to name the cheese, and she added that she had no money to hire a lawyer to defend it, which forced her to research and protect it. works by itself.

Among the varieties that Razan created in her factory, which currently employs ten people, is hallumi cheese with rosemary and another smoked variety, in addition to the variety she called “Arabica” based on Arabic flavors such as thyme and nigella and created. these items at the request of Princess Anne, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Yorkshire, where she asked the organizers of her visit to get to know Razan and taste her famous cheeses.

Razan Al-Sous’s story carries in its heart a meaning beyond the success of its cheese varieties and flavors that carried its memories into Syria before the exile, but it is a literal translation of patience, effort and lack of despair. Expansion, success and continuity, and with its extraordinary intelligence, it transformed the refrigeration machine used in the production of ice cream into a machine for heating milk, it was also able to reduce the cost of the machinery needed in its factory by developing a blacksmith machine pressed the cheese instead of buying an expensive one for it and also transformed the food heating equipment into a Buffet way of forming the cheese.

In response to our question about the treatment she has had in northern England as a veiled Arab Muslim, she said she has received all the support from the residents of her area and from the political cadres in it who have encouraged her to develop and work.

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