Al-Karawan Restaurant, on the main street between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, is a family restaurant that has been in business for nearly 40 years. Its owner, Abu Alzoz Nassar, is from a well-known Palestinian family from Beit Jala.
After Israel completed the Separation Wall in this area, the restaurant was entirely surrounded by walls and looming guard towers; nonetheless, it managed to remain open. All dishes are made by hand without any machines. On most days, the owner’s grandmother can be found sitting in the middle of the restaurant making homemade labneh, cutting parsley for shish kebab, preparing salad, or handling any other culinary task.
Al-Karawan’s food is known for being particularly delicious; this is why customers still brave the walk to the place in the towering shadow of the wall and enjoy the experience despite the view of the wall that lies inches from some of the restaurant’s windows. People come from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the north, and all over to eat here.