The Cake of Hannah (Knefet Hannah)
Jan 9th 2010 Rami Rouhana What do you think?

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I was told this true story and I thought it’s good to tell it here.

The story goes as follows:

There was a man called Hannah living in a Lebanese town. Hanna is the son of a muffin man called Boutros who had a cake bakery in his town center and used to make cakes that we in Lebanon call “Knefeh” which is our most favorite Breakfast. Boutros was one of the best cooks in Lebanon; people used to come from all the neighboring towns to have breakfast at Boutros’s, he has developed a special recipe and kept it secret.

Few years later Boutros died and his son Hannah was old enough to take over the Knefeh production business. Hannah used to help his dad in making the cake every morning and his dad used to explain every step in the process.

After closing the shop for few days and grieving on his father, Hanna went at 3 A.M in the morning to prepare the breakfast cake his father used to make. Hannah went through all the steps his father taught him, finished the cake and sat down waiting for the usual customers to come.

Customers came, bought the cakes, sat on the small terrace outside the shop, ate the cake, left quietly and never returned. Hannah knew later that the cakes were badly prepared and Hannah’s neighbors went further to say that Hannah does not have his father’s talent.


Reaching this part of the story, I am sure that you as a reader think that you have heard this story over a hundred time, but the story does not end here.

Hannah did not surrender, he kept the same routine of waking up in the morning, baking the cakes and selling them to the very customers that kept passing by for the sake of friendship. Few months passed when suddenly a stranger passed by and tasted the cake. The stranger acted differently, he did not walk away but approached Hannah and said: ” I have heard that your father died , I used to stop here for a short rest once every year while traveling, I don’t think you have noticed me before, there was hundreds of customers. I own a bakery myself and for years I was trying to find out your father’s secret mix. I have tasted your cake and I honestly think your father’s secret is lost forever.”]

Hannah for sure was surprised, but he then explained that his father taught him all his secrets and trained him to perform all the preparation steps for the perfect “Knefeh”. Hannah went further and explained that he followed the steps exactly but never produced a cake with a similar taste to the cake of Boutros. Hannah was depressed and helpless, he then decided to teach the stranger all the secrets passed down by his father. The stranger went into Hannah’s kitchen and prepared all the needed ingredient listed on a paper given by Hannah and spent the whole day learning the magic of “Boutros Knefeh ” until morning was close when Hannah said to the stranger: ” I will go rest now, I need to sleep and I have lost an hope of making a good cake. I will leave you here in the kitchen, you now know all what is required, make the cake and let us see if it will have a different taste.”

The stranger nodded and started working directly.


The cake was successful and the cake sold out the other day. Everyone was surprised. It turned out that the maker makes allot of difference in the art. Though Hannah was punctual in following the steps, he could not taste his making and judge it. He did not have the required taste as his father had.

  • Now I would like you to tell me. How is this article related to music ?

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  • SerJ Panossian

    its very related to music ^^

    1)if u repeat what others do , without having the talent or taste. (local bands – tributes)
    2)Not every one that forms a band has talent.

    those what i can think so far …

  • Esta

    One does not have to folow others in music,eveyone has a speciafic kind or taste in metal, and with great talent we should embrass it?:P

  • Patrick ziade

    Good Story. If we were to relate it to music , we could definitely say that the baker represents a musician. If a musician doesn’t have good taste in music, then he will not produce good music. Suppose two guitarists cover on song, It will turn out differently. All you need to do is check youtube for covers, and you will nootice that some play the song way better then others


    there’s crack in that cake! it’s obvious.

  • Ingrid N

    eza el bay musician,bi3allim ebno kelchi t3allamo
    but if the son dnt hv this artistic side,no matter adde byet3allam,mara7 yotla3o 7elwin ma3o

  • Rawad AN

    7ot kel mashe3rak bil knefe (music)..betsir tettekal (btensama3).

  • Ingrid N

    eza el bay musician,bi3allim ebno kelchi t3allamo
    but if the son dnt hv this artistic side,no matter adde byet3allam,mara7 yotla3o 7elwin ma3o

  • Jad Jabbour

    Now I would like you to tell me . How is this article related to music ?

    Kaoteon sucks:O ? is it the right answer 😛

  • Firas Rahi

    ok.. bass te2riya for a while u think its mou5ife bass then u think.. there are some bands that covers other band’s songs and byotla3o ma3on a7la.. dis is my opinion.. for example : painkiller !! nd some songs for manowar covered by thunderstone.. bass in general its a good example 🙂

  • Patrick

    You need TALENT and PASSION in music, not just play the songs as if they were your Arabic Poetry recital at school!

  • Sasha

    Hmm well I guess music is related to every individual it pretty much shows his or hers personality. In order for a cook to be good he has to pour all his soul and effort into his dish. Its the same for an artist I guess. A great artist will do the same. See the difference btwn you and Serj Tankian 😛

  • Amir

    u need talent and taste in everything, cooking, music, work …

  • Manar

    That’s a very interesting article! I myself cook, yet when I give the same recipes to people it doesn’t turn out as good as my cooking does.
    The thing is people have different ways in doing things. It doesn’t matter what ingredients or notes/tabs.. you follow, what matters is to put all your energy and sense into it.

  • Rami Rouhana

    Thank you all for your comments !

    Hope your Knefiz taste good !

  • Nizar Hawat

    Genetically modified kids can be as good as their fathers or even better depending on the order placed :Pand the will of the designers, the fathers in this case :P. so how about genetically modified kneffeh in this case loll 😛 !

  • We must sell knefeh in Rock concerts 😛 what do you think ?
    The Talent either you have it or you don’t,it can’t be Teached, it’s either born with us or not !
    and maybe geneticly we can reproduce the talent of
    BEETHOVEN or many other big musicians 🙂 i volonteer to be the Tested on that 😛

  • omar

    u sing better when u have mouth orgasim?

  • Anonymous

    Hannah did not wash his hands before baking the Knefeh…it’s obvious!

  • Jennyfer Jaber

    May i say that even if hanna kept trying forever to make this knefeh in the exact way his father taught him to do, it will never taste the same. Every single human being puts a specific part of himself into the work he does.
    If you compare it to music, every musician has a different touch, a unique breath put into the music he makes. if the music does not have the musician’s heart and touch, then it is no good music.