LOCH Sport has hit the world stage after Syrian-born businessman Elias Saliba’s kebab van was featured on a Syrian morning show broadcast internationally.

“I got a call from a friend in The Netherlands, who said they saw me on Syrian television through satellite TV,” Mr Saliba told the Gippsland Times.

After that, friends and family from Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and all over called Mr Saliba to say they saw the Syrian-inspired Loch Sport Kebabs on Syrian television.

The program and its website had translated the original Gippsland Times story ‘A taste of Syria at Loch Sport Kebabs’ (June 14, 2022), that featured the van.

The show is on the Syrian News Channel and is a morning program, similar to Sunrise or The Today Show.

The presenters on the show discussed in Arabic what was written in the story, in particular the origin of the kebabs and how Mr Saliba had become famous in Loch Sport.

Morning show in Syria discussing Loch Sport Kebabs.

“A lot of people think that kebabs are Lebanese, Iraqi or Turkish,” Mr Saliba said in the original story.

“I would correct that by saying that kebabs are from Mesopotamia. They are from Assyria, going back to biblical times. Mesopotamia doesn’t exist today but the nations do exist, so the neighbouring countries took that tradition and used it as their own.”

Morning show in Syria discussing Loch Sport Kebabs.

While Loch Sport may be enjoying some international attention, Mr Saliba wants to invest in the area at a local level.

“I want to open a Syrian and Assyrian cuisine restaurant, and a motel,” he said.

A taste of his Syrian heritage may have returned home when his van appeared on TV, but Mr Saliba is more than happy to be living in Gippsland today.

“Thank you to the Australian Government, the Wellington Shire and citizens of Loch Sport for allowing me and my family to come here and be a part of the community,” he said.

Loch Sport Kebabs and BP Loch Sport owner Elias Saliba. Photo: Stefan Bradley