Making the most of a bad deal

Intriguing story from today’s Telegraph about an Iranian asylum-seeker running the world’s most northerly kebab-shop.

Kazem Ariaiwand has found himself in Spitzbergen after being denied entry to Norway, where his wife and son were accepted, which seems particularly harsh to me.

As someone who may well have been to the world’s most northerly branch of the Domino’s Pizza franchise (Akureyri, Iceland, at around 65 degrees north – I stress, before they took up whaling again and the tourist boycott started, I wouldn’t visit now) this brought a smile to my face.

Anyway. Here’s the story of Mr Ariaiwand and his kebab van. But what kind of meat does he use? And how on earth does someone born in the Middle East put up with the cold and the fluctuating daylight in the far north?

World’s most northerly kebab shop opened

An Iranian has opened the world’s most northerly kebab outlet in the freezing wastelands of the Arctic circle.

The Red Polar Bear, owned by Kazem Ariaiwand, is providing kebabs on the island of Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard archipelago 300 miles off the northern tip of Norway.

With temperatures averaging 14F (-10C), the time-honoured question of “chilli sauce?” could not seem more appropriate.


His venture has been such a success among the settlement’s 2,000 population that it is challenging the more traditional fare of seal and minke whale meat.

“I’ve made a fair amount of money but the problem is that I don’t know how to spend it,” said the 48-year-old. “I came here without knowing anyone. I had nothing. I came on a plane with my backpack. Now I have many friends, almost the whole town.” Read the full story here…