Visit ACOR any day of the year and you will find Mohammed “Abu Ahmed” Adawi at work in the kitchen, for the past five years assisted by his nephew Ghassan Adawi. His cooking style is perhaps best described as traditional American, but he surprises the guests at the ACOR hostel from time to time with traditional Arabic dishes as well. He also prepares some kind of a sweet every day, and this ranges from the popular cream puffs with chocolate sauce to a simple sheet cake with lemon icing.
Mohammed Adawi has been working with ACOR and running the ACOR kitchen since ACOR was founded in Jordan in 1968. As a young man in Palestine his family moved as refugees in 1948 from their village near Hebron to a camp outside of Jericho. He began working as a laborer at the nearby archaeology site Tell el-Sultan. He continued to work with archaeologists who recognized his intelligence and his work ethic. Eventually he joined the staff of the Jerusalem School of Archaeology in (now the Albright Institute) as Assistant Chef.
The 1967 Arab-Israeli war prevented Mohammed from continuing his work in Jerusalem. Made into refugees a second time, he and his family crossed the Jordan River and were eventually able to make a new home in Zarqa, outside of Amman. His connections to the world of Archaeology helped him find work at excavations at Tell Hesban and in 1968 he began working for ACOR, at that time located in a rented apartment near the 1st circle in Jebel Amman.
Today it is said that the “A” in ACOR is for “Adawi” because Abu Ahmed is truly the heart of ACOR. There are a couple of earlier articles / profiles of Mohammed Adawi available online, please see:
A short article about Mohammed “Abu Ahmed” Adawi was published in the ASOR blog in 2010 and the link is here:
There is also a longer article about Mohammed Adawi written by ACOR Director Dr. Barbara A. Porter in the ACOR Newsletter Vol. 20.1 (Summer 2008).