From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Restaurant information
Current owner(s)Suleiman Qassab

MaDonal (Sorani Kurdish: مادۆنال‎) is a restaurant located in the town of Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan. It intentionally resembles the fast food chain McDonald's, both in appearance and menu;[1][2][3][4] for instance, MaDonal's menu includes "Big Macks."[5][6] It is one of two McDonald's-like restaurants in the town; the other one, Matbax, claims that MaDonal is "cheap quality".[7][dead link]

The owner, Suleiman Qassab, was a fighter in the Kurdish resistance during the 1970s. He became a refugee in Vienna, Austria, where he got a job as a cook at McDonald's. In the 1990s, he applied for permits to create a McDonald's in Iraq, but the McDonald’s Corporation turned him down, due to economic sanctions imposed during the regime of Saddam Hussein, as well as the controlled economy of Iraq at the time.[citation needed]

In response, he established MaDonal Restaurant, which is still in business.[8] Since establishing MaDonal, Qassab has offered free food to U.S. forces, been threatened,[9][10][11][12][13][14] and has become a "Kurdish celebrity."[15] Qassab hopes to one day turn MaDonal into an actual McDonald's restaurant.[16][17]

MaDonal is popular with Sulaymaniyah's youth,[18][19] and the upper middle class.[20] It is open even during Ramadan.[21]

Sociologist George Ritzer sees MaDonal as part of a trend of other countries developing their own regional variations of McDonald’s.[22][23] Journalist Christopher Hitchens said it was "reassuring" to see signs of progress like MaDonal "in an atmosphere that only a few years ago was heavy with miasmic decay and the reek of poison gas."[24]

Qassab is just one of many who have requested permission to open up a McDonald’s in Iraq.[25][26] Should this happen, there has been speculation by some about whether McDonald's will eventually take legal action against MaDonal.[27][28][29][30] However, MaDonal appears safe for now, as one journalist notes: "The flow of applications to open an Iraqi McDonald's stopped as quickly as it started, and the corporate lawyers never came to Sulaymaniyah."[31]

The first McDonald's store in Iraq was opened in Baghdad in 2006 but first for US Soldiers but later one store for Iraq Civilians.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "From Suleimaniya," August 20, 2003
  2. ^ Fam, Mariam: "Grateful Kurds in Iraq's north embrace Americans and their culture," Archived 2006-11-30 at the Wayback Machine. Associated Press 3/20/04
  3. ^ "Iraq's "McDonald's"". Nanfang Daily (in Chinese). 2003-06-09. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
  4. ^ Wheeler, Tony (2007-05-08). "Iraq: A foreigner in the axis of evil". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-05-11.
  5. ^ Constable, Pamela: "Kurds Adapt to a New Order in Iraq; Leaders Give Up Dream of Statehood, Urge Federalist Rule to Protect Status," The Washington Post, August 12, 2003 Tuesday, Final Edition, A SECTION; Pg. A08, 1268 words.
  6. ^ Serchuk, Vance: "Erbil Remedy Federalism is not a panacea for Kurdistan," Archived 2008-03-28 at the Wayback Machine. The Weekly Standard, January 19, 2004, Monday, Articles; Vol. 9; No. 18, 1987 words.
  7. ^ Goodman, Peter S. (26 May 2003). "Familiar Logo On Unfamiliar Eateries in Iraq: Kurdish Entrepreneurs Bring In a Taste of the West". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ McCarthy, Terry (March 14, 2007). "WHERE THEY DON'T SHOOT AMERICANS". ABC News Blogs. Archived from the original on March 23, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-18.
  9. ^ Xulamm Kani: "Striving for Cultural Acceptance: the Kurdish Experience," Archived 2007-12-22 at the Wayback Machine. Keynote Address, School of International Training (SIT), Brattleboro, Vermont, August 17, 2004
  10. ^ Rothwell, Nicolas: "Kurdish rebel cooks up Big Mac’s little brother,"[permanent dead link] The Australian, 7/23/2004
  11. ^ Daragahi, Borzou: "Guns And Burgers,", May 1, 2003
  12. ^ Daragahi, Borzou: "Iraqis in north eager to display feelings and enthusiasm for GIs," The Washington Times, April 1, 2003
  13. ^ Saulnier, John M.: "Time flies, french fries, American pie and haven't we had enough boycotting already?," Quick Frozen Foods International, April 2003.
  14. ^ Daragahi, Borzou (March 30, 2003). "In Kurdistan, an abandoned checkpoint". The Anniston Star. Retrieved 2007-04-21.
  15. ^ Rothwell, Nicolas (July 24, 2004). "Key piece of Iraq jigsaw wants out of picture". The Weekend Australian. p. 14. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-24.
  16. ^ Wright, Robin: "Kurdish Enclave May Lead Way for New Iraq,"[permanent dead link] Los Angeles Times, December 1, 2002
  17. ^ McCarthy, Terry: "Golden Arches With a Twist: Iraqi Burger Joint," ABC News, Aug. 16, 2006.
  18. ^ Al-Marashi, Ibrahim: "Battle of flags," Archived 2008-01-11 at the Wayback Machine. Al-Ahram Weekly, June 17–23, 2004, Issue No. 695.
  19. ^ Rothwell, Nicolas: "Coming To Suleimaniyah?" Critical Tolerance, Jul 22nd, 2004.
  20. ^ Boag, Michael (2003-10-27). "From Iraq with Love: Michael Boag traces his journey from Istanbul to Suleimaniya". The McGill Daily. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  21. ^ Odenheimer, Micha (2003-11-21). "Such fragile threads". WorldSecurityNetwork. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
  22. ^ Ritzer, George: “The McDonaldization of Society” (Revised New Century Edition), page 4. Pine Forge Press, 2004. (Limited Preview Available on Google Books)
  23. ^ Sakkinen, Riiko (2007-05-30). "Madonaldization". Retrieved 2007-06-13.
  24. ^ Hitchens, Christopher (April 2007). "Holiday In Iraq; Over Christmas Break, The Author Took His Son To Northern Iraq, Which The U.S. Had Made A No-Fly Zone In 1991, Ending Saddam's Chemical Genocide. Now Reborn, Iraqi Kurdistan Is A Heartrending Glimpse Of What Might Have Been". Vanity Fair. p. 130. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
  25. ^ Hawkes, Steve: “McDonald's swamped by offers to open in Iraq,” Evening Standard (London), Aug 14, 2003
  26. ^ Docena, Herbert (October 24, 2003). "Dying for a McDonald's in Iraq". Asia Times. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
  27. ^ Ritzer, p. xi-xii
  28. ^ Sundström, Eric (2005-07-15). "Everyday observations in Iraq"
  29. ^ Scott (2003-05-01). "What's Next -- Kurdish Idol on Fox?"
  30. ^ Schwan, Ben (2003-05-27). "MaDonal und Matbax". NETBLOG (in German). NETZEITUNG. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
  31. ^ MacKinnon, Mark (March 23, 2007). "In the shadow of real war, a burger war". The Globe and Mail. pp. B8. Retrieved 2007-04-20.

External links[edit]