Associated Press report that a restaurant owner in an Arab village outside of Jerusalem says he is on a mission to save culinary culture by making diners a simple offer: Turn off your cellphone and get a 50 percent discount.
says smartphones have destroyed the modern dining experience. He hopes the generous discount will bring back a more innocent time when going to a restaurant was about companionship, conversation and appreciating the food, rather than surfing, texting or talking to the office.
"I'm changing something. It might be something small, but maybe in some small way I'll be changing the culture of eating," said Ibrahim, 49.
Ibrahim is the owner of Abu Ghosh, a well-known restaurant named after its hometown, located about 10 kilometers (six miles) outside of Jerusalem. The town is known as a symbol of coexistence, and its restaurants, serving up platters of creamy hummus and grilled meat, are popular with Arab and Jewish visitors alike.
Ibrahim, who opened the restaurant in 1993 with winnings from an Illinois lottery, said mealtime conversations have long been a staple in this cellphone-obsessed country. But the situation has worsened in recent years as smartphones have become more sophisticated. He said he became dismayed as he saw groups of friends or married couples sitting in silence, staring at their screens and ultimately asking him to reheat their food.
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