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

Photo: Flickr/cyclonebill/CC BY 2.0 

The Syrian government has introduced a 'reconstruction tax' in an effort to restore economic balance after years of civil war.

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.

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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.