An Iraqi businessman has set out to cheerlead Donald Trump’s quest to beat ISIS with seafood and memes.
Self-professed Trump supporter Nedyar Zawity has opened a new restaurant called “Trump Fish” in honor of President-elect Donald Trump in Iraqi Kurdistan’s Dohuk province. The fish joint is a mere hour and a half from the Mosul frontline.
News of the restaurant’s opening was first broken in a Dec. 5 tweet on the Duhok Post Twitter account, a page that seemingly serves as a newsfeed for various happenings within the city.
— Duhok Post (@Duhokpost) December 5, 2016
Here’s what it looks like:
— JUMA (@JumaKitchen) September 24, 2015
Zawity, a 31-year-old Kurdish entrepreneur, viewed the restaurant’s naming as an act of good faith in Trump’s ability to topple the Islamic State group, according to CNN.
— CNN (@CNN) January 2, 2017
According to Reuters, Zawity appreciates the president-elect’s promise to increase support to the Kurds and the Peshmerga under his administration.
“I personally love Trump for this,” he told Reuters. “The name Trump is beloved in Kurdistan.”
While Trump has expressed support for arming the Kurds, as noted by Reuters, he still hasn’t come out with an official stance on whether or not an independent Kurdish state should be created.
But Zawity told Al-Monitor that the branding was inspired by excitement and not by political goals. Zawity also acknowledged that his main motivation in picking the president-elect as posterboy was to cash in on the business magnate-turned-politician’s global brand.
“[Zawity] believes the restaurant's name has helped attract customers because of the extensive controversy stirred by Trump’s victory. He said foreigners who reside in the area have been frequenting his restaurant as well as locals,” Al-Monitor reports.
— Gatma Mandhi (@Gatma_Mandhi) January 4, 2017
But, Reuters noted that, at press time, the restaurant hadn’t yet turned a profit. Further, it’s been the subject of boycotts fueled by opposition to Trump’s views on Muslim immigration within the United States. Still, Zawity reportedly aspires to get a visa and build his restaurant in the United States.
And if you think there’s something fishy about the logo, it’s because there is. As initially reported by Atlas Obscura, the image of Trump the restaurant’s logo is built around was actually stolen from a December 2015 UpRoxx article by David Rappoccio. In the piece, Rappoccio redesigned NFL team logos to feature Trump’s mugs (and, in one case, his middle finger).
His re-rendering of the San Diego Chargers’ logo wound up making the cut (or, rather, filet?) for the seafood startup.
If Trump decides to take a stand against this fishy face-off, it won’t be his first maritime match-up of the year. Trump declared war on the delta smelt, a silvery blue three-inch fish, at a campaign rally after conservation efforts to stop its extinction made waves for allegedly wasting excessive amounts of water.