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Sambowsa: Constant Presence in Fasters' Memories
  Written By: Hasan Al-Zaidi (YEMEN POST STAFF)
  Article Date:
September 22, 2008



During the blessed month of Ramadan, popular eatables reserve their place in the memory of fasters. One of those Ramadan eatables is the famous Sambowsa.

Sambowsa has been closely linked with Ramadan as it appears at its advent and disappears at its end. The question raised now is how it appeared in Yemen.

According to opinion polls, most citizens see that Sambowsa is originally Turkish and it came with the Turkish invasion of Yemen. The same applies to Salta, another Turkish meal.

However, some people see that Sambowsa was not known in Sana'a only during the 1970s,  and stress that Sambowsa is of Indian origin and was transferred from India (the great British Colony) to Aden (the small British Colony). Later, it was transferred to other cities in Yemen.

Others still see that the transfer of Sambowsa from India to Aden was a result of the civilized level they were enjoying back then. It was considered one of the high-class snacks. Aden's people excelled in preparing it and through versified ways.

Hundreds of thousands of Sambowsa’s sold

Starting from 3 p.m., people start crowding in search for buying Sambowsa from street vendors and shops as well as other place famous for selling Sambowsa and other Ramadan-linked meals. Hundreds of thousands of sambowsas if not millions, are consumed everyday across the nation.

Though they keep the original shape that likens a triangle, there have been different preparation ways and components. Thus, Sambowsa is prepared with cheese, chopped meat, lettuce, or potatoes.

"I buy Sambowsa on a daily basis because I can't think of Ramadan without its appetizing smell and taste. I spend YR 200 on buying Sambowsa pieces every day," said taxi driver Bassem Al-Absi.

Some complexes resorted to produce Sambowsa dough of flour taking the shapes of slices and these complexes a lot of money; however, this has not prevented manual producers Sambowsa slices.

They are seen with their fire burners preparing Sambowsa in street lanes, public markets and other places. Hundreds of people can make money from working this job, even children come out and call people to buy. saying, "Sambowsa to break your fasting, you faster!"

Price increase of Sambowsa

Though prices of food commodities and meals are increasing markedly, Sambowsa prices kept relatively stable and one piece of Sambowsa is sold for YR 30, comprising the regular contents.

In some cases, some Sambowsa sellers will reduce the contents, especially chopped meat and instead they fill it with onion and lettuce. They seek to sell it at a lower price and attract more consumers.

Under the current deteriorating situation, Sambowsa has shaped a source of income for many families as it allows them to secure some of their basic needs against selling Sambowsa and other Ramadan-linked meals.

It helps children make money during Ramadan as they head to streets with quantities of Sambowsa made at homes. The returns from selling Sambowsa helps poor families make some money.