Palestinian child Mahmoud Abu Nada cooks inside the kitchen of a local restaurant, in Gaza City on Oct. 13, 2018. Although blood cancer has forced him to leave school, 11-year-old Palestinian boy Mahmoud Abu Nada became a chef after receiving courses at a Gaza restaurant. TO GO WITH Feature: Gaza child suffering from cancer amazes people with cooking talent (Xinhua/Stringer)
GAZA, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Although blood cancer has forced him to leave school, 11-year-old Palestinian boy Mahmoud Abu Nada became a chef after receiving courses at a Gaza restaurant.
He can make a variety of dishes now.
Abu Nada, who suffers from anemia, chose homeschooling due to deteriorating medical condition. However, his illness did not prevent him from practicing his hobby of cooking, which impressed many people.
"The whole thing started when I decided to enter the kitchen of one of the restaurants in Gaza where my family and I were having dinner," Abu Nada told Xinhua.
"The details of the work inside the kitchen attracted me and I watched the chef work with high admiration," the boy added.
Abu Nada passed the stage of admiration, when he underwent a small test by the restaurant's chef.
The chef placed several dishes of spices and Abu Nada surprisingly amazed the chef and his aids when he told them the names of the spices.
"I recognized all of them by their smell only," Abu Nada said. "They also admired my style of using knives."
Abu Nada said he liked to develop his cooking skills by asking the restaurant's owners to work for them, but they refused since the law forbids child labor.
"But they accepted me as a trainee," he proudly said. "With time passing, I learned to cook several eastern and western dishes."
The little child first showed his talent three years ago, when he began to imitate his mother making sandwiches and juices.
The first dish he made was a large egg sandwich with vegetables for his elder sister, Jasmine, who is five years older than him and a cancer patient like him.
"I whisked eggs alone and then put some spices, salt and black pepper, and then I made a special sauce and I added some vegetables and then I cooked the mix before I rolled Arab bread around the cooked meal," Abu Nada explained.
Hi first practical test outside home was during his treatment at a local cancer support society in Gaza.
"I offered to cook for the patients and there are 60 children... I made the same sandwich that I did for my sister," he added, proudly smiling.
While his family appreciates his cooking talent, they fear that exerting much physical effort may worsen his health condition.
His father, Khader Abu Nada, said allowing his son to cook might pose threats to his health conditions, but he added that letting him practice his hobby is very helpful for his psychological status.
He said that the little boy is regularly subjected to blood transfusions with his sister at the hospital.
"My son's insistence to developing his cooking skills forced me to respond to his desire to practice cooking for a certain number of hours during the week," he revealed.
Abu Nada is aware of the nature of his illness, which requires him not to make much effort and stay at home.
"My love for cooking is greater than my disease, so I try to organize my time and not to effort too much, and I keep the work calm and comfortable," he said.
In addition to his training at the restaurant, Abu Nada develops his skills through the Internet where he can discover new meals from different countries around the world.
"I like the Chinese food and I'm planning to learn how to cook Chinese dishes," he said.