I was born and raised in Damascus, Syria. After graduating from high school, I attended college, and studied business administration and secretarial. When I learned of an opportunity to finish my studies in the United States, I immediately took it and majored in business administration. I was only twenty years old and it was a dream come true, and here I am…. twenty one years later!

I met my husband Ray and had two boys, Jacob, who is 19 and going to college now, and Joey, 13, and in middle school. I’m writing this “About” page on Wednesday March 11th 2009… which is the day my husband Ray and I will celebrate 20 years of love, adventure & accomplishments.

Ever since I was a child I loved to cook, and always was surrounded with the freshest ingredients and beautiful, amazing food. I am a self taught cook, and after years in the kitchen I am proud to say that my friends and family tell me I’m very gifted. 

Here on “Simply Heaven Food”, I will be sharing the wonderful food of my Syrian heritage, along with new recipes and exciting kitchen experiences.



Welcome… and THANK YOU for taking time to visit me!


Here is my wonderful family!

My husband Ray

My son Jacob

My son Joey

20 Responses to “About”

  1. I love your site. Keep it up !

  2. Thank you for coming around and commenting on my blog. It’s very new and very amateur, but hey it’s a start.

    Your blog is absolutely scrumptious!

    Thanks for coming around again. I appreciate the support.

  3. You rock!!what a great job you have done here. It all looks great, and yes, you do have a talent for making delicious food!

  4. Your site is fantastic! What nationality are you? I am Armenian, and this brings me home! Especially the stuffed Zucchini!

    Really beautiful! Salud!

  5. Oh My Gosh… your pictures are absolutely mouthwatering! If only you posted your recipes (I would LOVE to learn how to make the pistacio baklava… I can’t seem to find the right recipe anywhere!) I am 25% Lebanese and my parents (mom is 100% Dutch and dad is 50% Lebanese) both make a LOT of Lebanese food for our family but we have no desert recipes! Can you help me?

  6. Just found your site, and I agree with every statement here. wow..so great. Talented is right, I thought for sure your a pro. Well, you actually are a pro. trainer and self taught. Plus quite the photographer too. wonderfully done. thanks…
    I don’t have a website yet…but I am inspired to do something now.
    These remind me of some of my families cooking.

  7. Hello,
    I foudn you on Food Buzz. Your site is absolutely wonderful. Love the step by step pictures, please, please keep doing the same. You also made me very, very hungry just now!

    My Halal Kitchen

  8. Great Site!I can’t wait to try your recipes,they look very authentic and your pictures are beyond gorgeous!

  9. Arabic food is one of my favorite!!!
    These recipes looks amazing!
    Just a quick question?
    How much work do you do for all these awesome photos?????

  10. Afaf – you revamped your sight. It looks great! Hope all is well. Charles

  11. Your profile really “touched” me. I am also a self taught cook (actually I watched my mother cook when I was a child) and I have been cooking for my family for the past 15 years!
    Syrian and Greek cuisine are very close, as I noticed! We share many of the unique ingredients found in the Eastern Mediterranean basin.
    If you ever need any information, help, or advice on Greek cooking, don’t hesitate to contact me.
    Best regards from Greece!

  12. Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes and your thoughtfulness from your home to the world.

  13. Hi Afaf, great site. I love the fact that you have step-by-step pictures too – it makes such a difference!
    I wonder if you have a recipe for Zaatar Halabi? I make the Lebanese style Zaatar but my mum loves the Syrian “Halabi” and I would love to know what ingredients I’m missing.

    • I am wondering this very same thing, I haven’t found a specific Halabi recipe anywhere! I’d love to know more. Many many thanks, this is a fantastic site by the way! 🙂

  14. Hi Afaf. I love your blog. Shish barak recipe cought my eye. I really love the way you make them bigger and fully baked. Looked so yummy. I’m so into syrian cooking. Check out this site http://www.l2ma.com her name is Muna wonderful lady and very talented. She has so many halabi,serian recipes also from turkish origin. I know you’ll like her blog. She has Za’atar halabi recipe. I posted some recipes in her blog too. Lovely family god bless them and good luck in everything you do.

  15. Beatiful site, great pictures.

  16. Great blog. Love the stuffed squash (courgettes). I have a recipe on my blog for a stuffed courgette curry as cooked by my mother…

  17. Afaf,

    Love your site, and the food looks so wonderful, great pictures and I can’t wait to try them, also do you have the recipe for making the heavy cream and pistachio dessert, I was unable to find it on your blog.


  18. I work in the field of development and have spent about half my career in Indonesia and 10 years in the Middle East, mainly Egypt and Lebanon. Have gotten as far as the border with Syria but that’s about it. Egyptians and Lebanese are very hospitable and family-oriented as individuals and do not deserve the governments they usually get. Anyway, I also love to cook and to eat and so eating Middle East cuisine is not only heavenly but usually very healthy too! The Mediterranean Diet recommended by many doctors. I love your blog, which mumtaz! Your accessible approach to menus is really very useful. Keep it up!

  19. I wish you all success, especially because you greet your nationality Syria and appreciation for all your work
    Atef Aridi
    Executive Chef

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