Waseem Hijazi


Waseem is the food photographer/content creator, recipe developer, and founder of the vegan blog Plant Based Arab. He’s a Jordanian-born Palestinian (and part Syrian), who immigrated to Canada in 2008 as a young teenager. 

Besides living with his family in a quiet city across the ocean, food was always the one thing that brought him closer to home. He grew up around a big family of food lovers that enjoyed meal time for the company of people, as well as learning about the story behind the delicious food being served. Suffice it to say, he’s had his fair share of the tasty Arab foods around the cuisines.

During business school, and while working full-time at a famous fast food chain, he used every opportunity possible to meal-prep to stay on track with his meals. Sharing some with friends and co-workers, and introducing his childhood favourites to new eaters.

Just like taking cultural Arabic dishes to summer potlucks, neighbourhood food parties, and everywhere he goes. That lead to requests for the recipes of the food he was making. Eventually, an Instagram page was created as a space to share his *not- yet-vegan* recipes.

Coincidentally, it was the beginning of 2020 (aka: the pandemic year), and Waseem was taking a Monthly Challenge as a ‘New Year’s Resolution’ to improve his health and wellbeing during the year. Documenting his progress and what he learned through recipe posts and Instagram Stories. 

He stumbled on a 30-Day Vegan Challenge, and that’s where it all changed. By the end of the year, and after learning about the health and environmental impact, he decided to switch to a plant based diet. Since then, he’s been experimenting with new ingredients to recreate traditional Arabic meat-based dishes – like turning tofu into Chicken Drumsticks for his vegan Freekeh recipe. Diving deep into the Arab cuisine to reveal the naturally-vegan popular Arabic foods that’s been enjoyed for generations – hello Falafel! 

As a Palestinian living in diaspora, it’s important to Waseem to keep his culture alive; especially through his recipes. It’s a way to celebrate the beloved dishes from the homeland, and expose the globally-loved vegan Arab foods – ever heard of Hummus? 

Waseem hijazi

My Favorite Quote

“There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.”

– Bob Ross


My 5 Favorite Vegan Ingredients

  1. Za’atar
  2. Tahini
  3. Pomegranate molasses
  4. Tofu
  5. Chickpeas

My 3 Favorite Vegan Dishes

  1. Yalanji (Stuffed Grape Leaves)
  2. Mujaddara (Bulgur Lentils)
  3. Fuul Mdammes (Fava Bean Dip)

Currently Working On

  • Articles & guides for the Arab food pantry, shopping lists, and meal planners.
  • Videography skills for better content creation.
  • Developing series around the vegan Arab cuisine