Back to the Blog

Arab Heritage Month Spotlight

David S. Market Coach, Taco Bell Corp. – Arab Heritage Month

April was officially recognized as National Arab American Heritage Month in 2021, celebrating the heritage of Arab communities and their many contributions to society.

To amplify this historic month, we’ll be spotlighting Arab Americans within Taco Bell and their inspiring career and life journeys.

David S., Market Coach at Taco Bell Corp. started at Taco Bell as a Shift Lead in Alabama almost 30 years ago! Since then, he has worked his way up to his current position of Market Coach, running the Norfolk and D.C. markets.

“One of my favorite memories of working at The Bell was attending an annual operations meeting in the late ‘90s. It took place in Nashville and had over 7,000 attendees including Restaurant General Managers from all over the country. I met so many new people and had lots of fun.”

Before coming to the U.S. and finding Taco Bell, David spent his early years in Jerusalem with his family. At a young age, his brother left the family to attend college in the U.S. A few years later, his sister got married and moved to Alabama. When the time came for David to leave, he followed in his siblings’ footsteps.

”I finished high school and decided to move to the U.S. for college like my older brother. Coming to the States was hard; I applied for my visa nine times before getting accepted.”

After landing in the States, David found it challenging to not only navigate living in a new place, but also attending the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. Within a few months, he decided to move to Alexandria, Virginia, to live with his older brother and complete more courses at Northern Virginia Community College. That’s where he found his future wife!

“After getting married, my wife and I moved to Huntsville, Alabama. At that time, my brother-in-law knew someone who was working at Taco Bell, so he urged me to apply as well. It was tough in the beginning as I was assigned closing shifts with my wife working the morning shifts at her job, so we only saw each other on days off.”

Still residing on the East Coast, you can find David attending events or celebrations to stay connected to the Palestinian community and his Arab roots.

“I travel to Jerusalem one to three times a year to see my parents, brothers and their children who still live there. I also love hanging out with friends and relatives from Jerusalem who reside in my city as we all attend events together. I am very proud of my roots, and one day I hope my kids can carry that torch as well.”

One thing that David notes about the Arab culture is the importance of family.

“Family is important to us, especially respecting our elders and making sure they are taken care as they get older.”

When it comes to getting involved within the Arab community and learning about its rich culture and heritage, it’s all about finding a friend!

“Staying true to our values of hospitality, generosity along with cultural clothing and food are all things you can learn about through an Arab friend. They will be more than willing to show you where we come from by inviting you to events, feeding you traditional dinner and dessert and hosting you with the family.”

    If David could share three pieces of advice, especially with those who’ve immigrated from different parts of the world, it would be the following:
  • Never give up on your culture or change who you are.
  • If someone does not know about you or your culture and history, don’t be afraid to teach them.
  • Stand up for what you believe in.
Arab Heritage Month Spotlight
Cassandra’s path to empowerment