Syrian President’s ‘Reconstruction Tax’ Applies to Shawarma

President Bashar al-Assad of Syria's new reconstruction tax takes advantage of the country's love of shawarma
Syrian President’s ‘Reconstruction Tax’ Applies to Shawarma

Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, attempting to counter the economic effects of years of civil war and the loss of huge plots of land with valuable oil and gas, has instituted what is being called a “reconstruction tax” on its people to strengthen the Syrian pound, currently equivalent to .0045 USD.

To raise funds, President Assad has even applied a tax on the sale of shawarma, the preparation of thinly sliced meats, roasted on a rotating spit, and served on a plate or in a wrap — perhaps the most well-recognized food to come out of the Middle East.

“Last week I had to pay 220 Syrian pounds for my shawarma sandwich instead of 200, and the restaurant owner told me it was because there's a new 10 percent ‘reconstruction tax’ that’s being imposed on each sandwich,” 50-year-old Damascus resident Tahseen told Agence France Presse.

Among other steps the Syrian government has taken to recoup losses, the price of bread was raised several times in the last year, along with costs of water and electricity.

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