Being a single mom is hectic, and sometimes chaotic, but it doesn’t have to be a total nightmare. Lubna Abura is a single mother of twins, who never imagined herself in the kitchen making some of the finest za’atar crackers out there. Based in New York City, Lubna has created the ultimate cracker and is now in the midst of expanding her business.

Born and raised in Brazil, Lubna moved with her family to New York City at the age of 16 years for better opportunities. Despite growing up in midst of such a strong Brazilian culture, she remembers the ways in which Palestinian ethnicity was preserved while living there.

Brazil has a large Middle Eastern community. I remember we would make our own bread and harvest olives. In the 70’s and 80’s it wasn’t easy to find Middle Eastern goods and we use to travel all the way to San Paulo to source things or wait impatiently for family to bring us goods when they visited from abroad. They would carry things like za’atar and maramiya; our kitchen would come alive with all the fragrant aromas of Palestine.

At 36 Lubna was diagnosed with breast cancer.

It was a difficult time for me, I thought I would never be able to have children. I was very scared but I’m so grateful I’m here today. The experience changed my life.

Lubna later married and became pregnant with twins. But when her marriage fell apart, she fell into a depression, raising her children all on her own, with zero money in her accounts.

 

My family was supportive, but it was tough. I could barely get by and couldn’t afford healthy snacks for my kids. It killed me that I couldn’t give them a comfortable life and za’atar was the best thing that I could offer them.

Lubna wanted to find an easier, less messy and affordable way to carry za’atar around for her twins. She came across a cracker recipe in a magazine and flavoured them with za’atar. They turned out delicious and her family and friends loved them that she began taking orders. Since she created ‘Lulu Gourmet’ and is working on an online business.

in supermarket

It’s important the product is accessible and affordable to everyone. They’re all-natural, no GMO, no preservatives, no colouring and fresh herbs.

Lubna is now making other cracker flavours, like – sun dried tomatoes and oregano, dukkah and thyme, black olives and thyme, musakhan (sumac and onions) and Parmesan cheese and rosemary.

zaatar cracker

Za’atar is a staple in every Palestinians home, and it gave me comfort during a dark time. My purpose to making the crackers is no longer merely about surviving anymore, but to preserve my heritage through the memories of my heritage.