Testosterone is a crucial hormone for men and plays an important role throughout the male lifespan. Most of a male's testosterone is produced through the testicles. Also called the male sex hormone, testosterone starts playing its part during puberty.
When a male goes through puberty, testosterone helps males develop:
As boys turn to men and men grow older, testosterone levels deplete naturally. Sometimes, events like injuries and chronic health conditions like diabetes can lower testosterone levels. Unfortunately, when a man loses too much T, it results in hypogonadism. When this happens, the testosterone must be replaced, or the male will suffer from symptoms like muscle loss, low libido, and even depression.
TRT is exactly what it sounds like: a treatment option for men that replaces testosterone so that your body regulates hormones properly and restores balance to your life. Also called androgen replacement therapy, TRT alleviates the symptoms that men experience with low T.
Originally lab-synthesized in 1935, testosterone has grown in popularity since it was produced. Today, TRT and other testosterone treatments are among the most popular prescriptions in the U.S.
Without getting too deep into the science, TRT works by giving your body the essential testosterone it needs to function correctly. As the primary androgen for both males and females, testosterone impacts many of the body's natural processes â especially those needed for overall health. For example, men with low T are more prone to serious problems like cardiovascular disease and even type-2 diabetes.
When your body quits making enough testosterone, it causes your health to suffer until a solution is presented. That's where TRT and anti-aging medicine for men can help. TRT helps balance your hormones and replenish your depleted testosterone. With time, your body will begin to heal, and many symptoms like low libido and irritability begin to diminish.
For men, aging is the biggest contributor to lower testosterone levels, though there are other causes like obesity, drug abuse, testicular injuries, and certain prescribed medications. Sometimes, long-term health conditions like AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, and kidney disease can lower testosterone levels.
When a man's testosterone levels drop significantly, it alters his body's ratio of estrogen and testosterone. Lower testosterone levels cause more abdominal fat, which in turn results in increased aromatase, which converts even more testosterone into estrogen.
If you're concerned that you might have low T, you're not alone. Millions of men in the U.S. feel the same way. The best way to find out if your testosterone is low is to get your levels tested.
For sustainable testosterone replacement therapy benefits, you must consult with hormone doctors and experts like those you can find at Global Life Rejuvenation. That way, you can find the root cause of your hormone problems, and our team can craft a personalized HRT plan tailored to your needs.
One of the most common reasons that men choose TRT is because they have lost that "spark" with their partner. It's not easy for a man to hear that they're not performing like they used to. Intimacy is a powerful part of any relationship. When a once-healthy sex life dwindles, it can cause serious relationship issues.
The good news is that low libido doesn't have to be a permanent problem. TRT and anti-aging medicines help revert hormone levels back into their normal range. When this happens, many men have a more enjoyable life full of intimacy and sex drive.
Weak erections â it's an uncomfortable subject for many men in the U.S. to talk about. It's even worse to experience first-hand. You're in the midst of an intimate moment, and you can't do your part. Despite being perfectly normal, many men put blame and shame upon themselves when they can't achieve an erection. And while the inability to perform sexually can be caused by poor diet, obesity, and chronic health conditions, low testosterone is often a contributing factor.
Fortunately, weak erections are a treatable condition. The best way to regain your confidence and ability in bed is to speak with your doctor. Once any underlying conditions are discovered, options like TRT may be the best course of treatment.
Do you find it harder and harder to work out and lift weights in the gym? Are you having problems lifting heavy items that you once had no problem lifting?
Recent studies show that when men are inactive, they lose .5% of muscle strength every year, from ages 25 to 60. After 60, muscle loss doubles every decade. While some muscle loss is common as men age, a significant portion can be tied to low testosterone levels. When a man's T levels drop, so does his muscle mass.
Testosterone is a much-needed component used in gaining and retaining muscle mass. That's why many doctors prescribe TRT Teaneck, NJ, for men having problems with strength. One recent study found that men who increased their testosterone levels using TRT gained as much as 2.5 pounds of muscle mass.
Whether your gym performance is lacking, or you can't lift heavy items like you used to, don't blame it all on age. You could be suffering from hypogonadism.
If you're like millions of other men in their late 20s and 30s, dealing with hair loss is a reality you don't want to face. Closely related to testosterone decline and hormone imbalances, hair loss is distressing for many men. This common symptom is often related to a derivative of testosterone called DHT. Excess amounts of DHT cause hair follicles to halt their production, causing follicles to die.
Because hair located at the front and crown is more sensitive to DHT, it grows slower than other follicles and eventually stops growing permanently. Thankfully, TRT and anti-aging treatments for men in Teaneck, NJ, is now available to address hair loss for good.
While it's true that you can't change your genes, you can change the effects of low testosterone on your body. Whether you're suffering from thinning hair or hair loss across your entire head, TRT and other hormone therapies can stop hair loss and even reverse the process.
Also called "man boobs," gynecomastia is essentially the enlargement of male breast tissue. This increase in fatty tissue is often caused by hormonal imbalances and an increase in estrogen. For men, estrogen levels are elevated during andropause. Also called male menopause, andropause usually happens because of a lack of testosterone.
If you're a man between the ages of 40 and 55, and you're embarrassed by having large breasts, don't lose hope. TRT is a safe, effective way to eliminate the underlying cause of gynecomastia without invasive surgery. With a custom HRT and fitness program, you can bring your testosterone and estrogen levels back to normal before you know it.
Decreased energy was once considered a normal part of aging. Today, many doctors know better. Advances in technology and our understanding of testosterone show that low T and lack of energy often go hand-in-hand.
If you're struggling to enjoy activities like playing with your kids or hiking in a park due to lack of energy, it could be a sign of low T. Of course, getting tired is perfectly normal for any man. But if you're suffering from continual fatigue, a lack of enjoyment, or a decrease in energy, it might be time to speak with a doctor.
Whether you're having a tough time getting through your day or can't finish activities you used to love, TRT could help.
A study from 2011 showed that men who lose a week's worth of sleep can experience lowered testosterone levels â as much as 15%, according to experts. Additional research into the topic found almost 15% of workers only get five hours of sleep (or less) per night. These findings suggest that sleep loss negatively impacts T levels and wellbeing.
The bottom line is that men who have trouble sleeping often suffer from lower testosterone levels as a result. If you find yourself exhausted at the end of the day but toss and turn all night long, you might have low T.
TRT and anti-aging medicines can restore your T levels back to normal, which can help you sleep better with proper diet and exercise.
You're feeling down about everything, and there's no solid explanation for why you're in such a crummy mood. Your daily life is great and full of success, but you can't help but feel unexcited and unmotivated. If you're experiencing symptoms like these, you may be depressed â and it may stem from low testosterone.
A research study from Munich found that men with depression also commonly had low testosterone levels. This same study also found that depressed men had cortisol levels that were 67% higher than other men. Because higher cortisol levels lead to lower levels of testosterone, the chances of severe depression increase.
Depression is a very real disorder and should always be diagnosed and treated by your doctor. One treatment option gaining in popularity is TRT for depression. Studies show that when TRT is used to restore hormone levels, men enjoy a lighter, more improved mood. That's great news for men who are depressed and have not had success with other treatments like anti-depression medicines, which alter the brain's chemistry.
Ask anyone over the age of 50 how their memory is, and they'll tell you it wasn't what it used to be. Memory loss and lack of concentration occur naturally as we age â these aren't always signs of dementia or Alzheimer's.
However, what many men consider a symptom of age may be caused by low testosterone. A 2006 study found that males with low T levels performed poorly on cognitive skill tests. These results suggest that low testosterone may play a part in reducing cognitive ability. If you're having trouble staying on task or remembering what your schedule is for the day, it might not be due to your age. It might be because your testosterone levels are too low. If you're having trouble concentrating or remembering daily tasks, it could be time to talk to your doctor.
Why? The aforementioned study found that participating men experienced improved cognitive skills when using TRT.
Even though today's society is more inclusive of large people, few adults enjoy gaining weight as they age. Despite their best efforts, many men just can't shed the extra pounds around their midsections, increasing their risk of heart disease and cancer.
Often, male weight gain is caused by hormone imbalances that slow the metabolism and cause weight to pile on. This phase of life is called andropause and happens when there is a lack of testosterone in the body. Couple that with high cortisol levels, and you've got a recipe for flabby guts and double chins.
Fortunately, TRT treatments and physician-led weight loss programs can correct hormone imbalances and lead to healthy weight loss for men.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Benefits of Sermorelin include:
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it is suitable for both men and women. It provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies, boosting patients' overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life. When growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland using Ipamorelin, clients report amazing benefits.
Some of those benefits include:
Whether you are considering our TRT services, HRT for women, or our growth hormone peptide services, we are here to help. The first step to turning back the hand of time starts by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation.
Our friendly, knowledgeable TRT and HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!973-587-8638
A federal judge has sentenced a Teaneck man to more than eight years in prison for orchestrating a decade-long bank and securities fraud scheme that cost his lenders and investors more than $60 million.Seth Levine, 53, pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark last March to a pair of fraud charges. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton condemned him to 97 months in federal prison and five years' supervised release afterward.Benjamin Brafman, Levine's New York City attorney, called it a "fairly ...
A federal judge has sentenced a Teaneck man to more than eight years in prison for orchestrating a decade-long bank and securities fraud scheme that cost his lenders and investors more than $60 million.
Seth Levine, 53, pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark last March to a pair of fraud charges. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton condemned him to 97 months in federal prison and five years' supervised release afterward.
Benjamin Brafman, Levine's New York City attorney, called it a "fairly tough day" for his client. But he was pleased that Levine's sentence was substantially lower than it could have been, according to federal sentencing guidelines.
"I think Seth Levine is really a wonderful man, despite his conviction," Brafman said.
Federal prosecutors have said Levine owned the Hackensack-based Norse Holdings, which was the parent company of more than 70 subsidiary companies that each owned at least one multifamily building. Taken together, the buildings contained about 2,500 apartments, most of which were in New Jersey.
Levine allegedly gave banks reams of false information when he sought to refinance the properties between 2009 and 2019.
This included inaccurate numbers about how much rent he collected, how many apartments were leased, his own expenses and who owned the properties, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger.
Levine also sent the lenders fake documents — including falsified leases that made it seem as if vacant spaces were occupied — and he inflated the amount of rent paid by the tenants, among other things, Sellinger said.
Levine also allegedly forged signatures on several documents.
"As a result of the fraudulent refinances, Levine received cash payouts from the lenders, which Levine and others used for their own enrichment and to continue the fraud scheme," the statement said.
Many of the lenders who approved the fraudulent mortgages in turn sold them to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, also known as Freddie Mac, and the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae.
But since the refinances were based on fake data, the properties were overvalued and the rents didn't cover the mortgage and other expenses, Sellinger said. So Levine got other cash-out refinances to cover the shortfalls.
By the time investigators uncovered the fraud, the mortgages' outstanding balance had reached more than $150 million, Sellinger said. Levine's conspiracy cost the victim lenders at least $47 million.
At the same time, Levine was running a securities fraud scam that defrauded the properties' investors, Sellinger said.
He convinced investors to buy into the properties based on false statements and promises about the properties' condition, while at the same time promising that his own conduct would be restrained by an operating agreement.
But he reneged on his representations to the investors by selling off his own shares, bringing in new investors and refinancing the properties without investors' consent, Sellinger said. He also allegedly forged signatures, gave investors fake documents and used their money to support other properties and pay off other investors.
By the time he was sentenced, Levine's securities fraud scheme had cost his investors more than $13 million.
Steve Janoski covers law enforcement for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news about those who safeguard your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
TEANECK — Schools Superintendent Christopher Irving announced Friday that he is leaving the 3,786-student district at the end of the school year.A letter dated Friday was posted on the district's website as schools adjourned for spring break. Irving was in the second year of a five-year contract, his second with the district. He joined the district with a three-year contract in...
TEANECK — Schools Superintendent Christopher Irving announced Friday that he is leaving the 3,786-student district at the end of the school year.
A letter dated Friday was posted on the district's website as schools adjourned for spring break. Irving was in the second year of a five-year contract, his second with the district. He joined the district with a three-year contract in 2018.
"I will be leaving the school district upon the conclusion of this school year," Irving wrote in his letter, which also was emailed to parents. "The Board of Education and I have mutually decided that come July 1, there will be a new educational leader for Teaneck Public Schools."
School board President Sebastian Rodriguez said Friday that the board is "appreciative for the opportunity to have worked with Dr. Irving during his tenure."
"Dr. Irving and his administration brought new ideas and initiatives that improved the district and benefited our students," Rodriquez said in an email. "These programs and initiatives will always be part of Dr. Irving’s legacy in Teaneck. As board president, I thank Dr. Irving for everything he has contributed to our district and we wish him good luck in his future endeavors."
Rodriguez did not respond to a request for the financial terms of Irving's departure. His 2020-25 contract called for him to be paid $215,00 the first year with 2% annual raises thereafter.
The departure follows nine months of uncertainty between Irving and the school board.
Former trustee Gerald Reiner said the board decided to terminate Irving last June 23. Reiner said the board subsequently issued a letter through board attorney Philip Stern, stating that "the board has irredeemably lost trust in the Superintendent of Schools and seeks to make a change in that position as quickly as possible."
However, after two closed meetings last summer, the board voted publicly July 14 to table a motion for Irving's suspension, then stated, without explanation, it was "looking forward to working with Dr. Irving."
In a July 1 letter to Bergen County School Superintendent Louis DeLisio, Reiner protested that the issue was not Irving's performance but a school board that "will insist on being involved in the process" beyond its legal duties.
"During the past year, the superintendent was denied the ability to administer the schools for reopening, continuously creating a plan only to have it rejected by the board at the last minute," Reiner wrote.
The superintendent referred questions to the school's director of community relations, who did not elaborate beyond Irving's statement.
Irving had been talked about as a possible replacement for Eileen Shafer, the superintendent of schools in Paterson, where Irving served as school board president. Last month Shafer won a contract extension that will keep her in place next year.
Bergen County NAACP President Junius "Jeff" Carter said Friday that Irving's departure leaves three New Jersey counties without a Black school superintendent: Bergen, Passaic and Hudson.
"The board tried to get rid of Dr. Irving under the cloak of darkness at a couple of meetings last year," Carter said. "For the NAACP, there are no politics in education. It's about the kids."
Teaneck's student body is 39.4% Hispanic/Latino, 33.2% Black 12.7% white, 10.9% Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander and 0.8% American Indian, according to state Department of Education data.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the length of Christopher Irving's first contract. It was for three years.
Marsha Stoltz is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
It is a rivalry nearly as old as sliced bread.This Thursday’s edition of the Hackensack-Teaneck Thanksgiving game marked the 87th time the two programs faced off for the annual Turkey Day affair. The series began in 1932, and the Comets and Highwaymen have kicked off every year since, except 2020, when the game was suspended due to COVID-19.Its tradition is heralded. And for both sides, winning this game meant so much more than a notch in the win column.That sentiment was evident in the emotion encompassed by the w...
It is a rivalry nearly as old as sliced bread.
This Thursday’s edition of the Hackensack-Teaneck Thanksgiving game marked the 87th time the two programs faced off for the annual Turkey Day affair. The series began in 1932, and the Comets and Highwaymen have kicked off every year since, except 2020, when the game was suspended due to COVID-19.
Its tradition is heralded. And for both sides, winning this game meant so much more than a notch in the win column.
That sentiment was evident in the emotion encompassed by the words of Hackensack head coach Brett Ressler after his Comets came away with a rousing 28-0 victory over the Highwaymen, marking their ninth straight win in the matchup. The program now leads the all-time series, 64-23.
Curtis Whiting led the forge for the Comets with two scores on the ground. He got the Comets on the board with a 37-yard scamper in the first quarter, and added another rushing TD to his tally in the final period. Elijah Aboagye had a lone TD in the third, and QB Matt Pallouras added a 40-yard TD throw to Eric Afrifah in the second.
Videos are courtesy of Sunil Sunder Raj of Inside The Press Box Every Day Fan Sports.
Tears streamed down Ressler’s face as he lauded his team’s fiery drive and resolute will to win. He applauded his seniors’ fight, showered his young up-and-comers with adulation, and commended the Hackensack community as a whole, whose helpful energy he felt added an invaluable boost.
Ressler closed his postgame speech by valiantly removing his sweater, revealing a Hackensack shirt with a bright yellow H emblazoned on its center. His final decree as he pointed to his chest: “Protect this H!”
The team roared in celebration before closing with its traditional chant: “One, two, three ... win! Four, five, six ... family!”
Family is the precedent that this team hangs its hat on day in and day out.
“It’s about family,” Ressler emphasized. “We take a lot of pride in Hackensack football, it’s been going on for a lot of decades. And it’s going to continue on for a lot of decades, even after us. The one thing you harp on is the family doesn’t go away. You’ve got alumni here, you have coach Toal here, his son. You have your life etched in stone when you play Hackensack football, even if it’s just for one snap. I’m very proud of the seniors, underclassmen for being great teammates. This was a nice way to end this season, and we’ve got some work to do for next season.”
Coach Gregory Toal is the man whom Ressler is referring to. The NJ coaching legend has a rich history within the Comets’ record book. His 305-55-2 (top 1% percentage-wise amongst all high school football coaches) career record includes a 62-9-2 mark at Hackensack through 1990-96. He won five straight titles with the squad from ‘92-96, and has won 16 state championships overall.
He, along with a host of other former Comets, were honored in a school hall of fame induction ceremony at halftime.
Toal knows a thing or two about premier talent through his storied tenure as a head coach, and he was able to get a glimpse of the fiery star power Hackensack currently possesses.
“Curtis Whiting, Shalik Hubbard, if you look at those kids, they’re just excellent,” Ressler exclaimed. “They’re just unselfish kids.”
Hubbard and Whiting were both all-conference recipients this season. And though the Comets were knocked out of playoff contention early on, they were steadfast in their convictions to end the season right: By defeating their longtime rivals.
“[The rivalry] means a lot,” Hubbard said. “Me coming to Hackensack from a different town, and just learning the tradition and culture, it means a lot to win this game and get the win for coach, cause he lost in his senior year. Getting that win for him is a very good thing.
Tradition means brotherhood. I do everything I do for that. The alumni coming back inspired and showed us that it’s bigger than us. I just kept the brotherhood going: Bringing up the freshmen and underclassmen so the next generation can be better.”
“It goes way back, 90 years,” Pallouras added. “It feels good to get a win. It came out a little rough, coach got on us and said ‘pull it together.’ [I felt like] I gotta compete, got to get this win.”
The win is secured for Hackensack, who will look to increase its win streak to 10 in the annual contest next year. And while he’ll have plenty of tasks for his squad to complete as 2021 gives way 2022, his immediate charge for the group was simple: “Go get some turkey.”
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Teaneck Council Introduces 8th Historic Budget with a Zero Percent Increase to the Tax RateTeaneck, NJ – The Teaneck Council is scheduled to adopt its eighth historic budget with a zero percent increase to the tax rate at its upcoming May 17th meeting. While neighboring municipalities and the local Board of Education continue to raise taxes by millions of dollars every year (despite declining enrollment), the Council’s commitment to fiscal responsibility while enhancing government services...
Teaneck Council Introduces 8th Historic Budget with a Zero Percent Increase to the Tax Rate
Teaneck, NJ – The Teaneck Council is scheduled to adopt its eighth historic budget with a zero percent increase to the tax rate at its upcoming May 17th meeting. While neighboring municipalities and the local Board of Education continue to raise taxes by millions of dollars every year (despite declining enrollment), the Council’s commitment to fiscal responsibility while enhancing government services continues to impress national credit agencies which continue to give the township high scores for its fiscal stewardship.
“The Teaneck Council is dedicated to holding the line on taxes at zero,” said Deputy Mayor Elie Y. Katz. “These are still tough economic times and the last thing residents need or want is a tax increase which is why we are proud that there has not been an increase to the tax rate for eight years in a row in Teaneck.”
57 cents of every tax dollar goes to the local Board of Education. 32 cents of each tax dollar goes to the administration of municipal services and that is the tax rate that has been kept at zero for the past eight years by the Teaneck Council.
“Teaneck is run diligently and efficiently across the board which is why when it comes to municipal finances, there is no other town in the region that can come close to accomplishing eight straight zero budgets the way we have for our taxpayers,” said Councilman Keith Kaplan. “And we have accomplished this while reducing our debt on an equalized value basis compared to neighboring towns. Food prices are rising. Gas prices are rising. Rent prices are rising. We owe it to our residents to keep the tax rate at zero so they can continue to put food on the table, pay their bills and take care of their families.”
While authoring eight zero increase budgets in a row, the Teaneck Council has also created millions of dollars in new ratables; paved a record number of roads; improved infrastructure through rehabbing the municipal complex and building required venues such as the sportsplex; saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by joining the Joint Insurance Fund; upgraded municipal parks for children and their families; administered more than 170,000 COVID-19 vaccines at the Rodda Center; made Teaneck a Veterans Friendly Community; hired its first Korean-American library director; and painted a Si Se Puede mural to honor Hispanic Heritage Month.
“Teaneck families are living on a tight budget and so must the Teaneck Council,” said Deputy Mayor Mark Schwartz who also serves on the Council Budget Subcommittee. “Through responsible and frugal financing and accounting, anything is possible: even eight straight zero budgets.”
“We continue to move Teaneck forward while passing eight straight zero percent budgets in a row,” said Councilman Michael Santiago Pagan who also serves on the Council Budget Subcommittee. “And we are going to continue to fight for our residents so they do not see any unnecessary tax increases in the future either.”
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Inside Levantine Sweets, Paterson’s newest candy and coffee shop, hunger and curiosity abound amid the freshly roasted nuts from Jordan, rainbow gummy bears from Palestine, chocolates from Lebanon and the Arabic music from the Levant region of the Middle East.But while Levantine Sweets may delight your senses, owners Mohammed and Rola Abdallah keep a greater goal in mind.“I hope people come together at our store: Christians, Muslims, ...
Inside Levantine Sweets, Paterson’s newest candy and coffee shop, hunger and curiosity abound amid the freshly roasted nuts from Jordan, rainbow gummy bears from Palestine, chocolates from Lebanon and the Arabic music from the Levant region of the Middle East.
But while Levantine Sweets may delight your senses, owners Mohammed and Rola Abdallah keep a greater goal in mind.
“I hope people come together at our store: Christians, Muslims, Jews, or anyone; those who read the Torah, the Quran, the Old Testament, and the New Testament. I happen to be Muslim, and Muslims accept all people,” Mohammed Abdallah said.
Rola Abdallah wiped away tears then added: “We may not share the same religion, but we do share beautiful humanity.”
In 2017, Abdallah retired after 30 years with Verizon as a marketing specialist. He opened a restaurant for a short time, then moved on to selling sweets imported directly from the Middle East.
“We offer top quality chocolate, Turkish delights, desserts, nougat, nuts, roasted coffee, and bezzir (roasted seeds) for fasfassa. You know fasfassa?” asked Abdallah, a native of Jordan.
Fasfassa is the act of extracting the inside of different seeds with your teeth, the most common American version being sunflower seeds. Fasfassa is common while visiting friends and families all over the Middle East. When folks get together late into the night, huge trays of different roasted seeds are served along with drinks and other treats. Everyone then performs the fasfassa while playing cards, backgammon, chess, and bargees, a complex board game that originated in India in the Fourth Century A.D.
“Just saying the word, fasfassa, tugs on my heart strings,” Abdallah said, laughing. “Americans don’t know about fasfassa, but we will teach them for sure.”
Among the specialties at Levantine Sweets is the artful Sadda coffee, a traditional concentrated coffee cooked over low heat for hours, then served at weddings and other celebrations. After cardamom and other essences are added, the coffee is served in tiny cups from copper carafes engraved with Arabic calligraphy.
Abdallah and his family hosted their grand opening last week, filling the shop to the brim with friends, neighbors and other well-wishers. Arabic music played as employees in traditional dress served Sadda coffee and other treats. Levantine Sweets is adjacent to the popular Reem Alsham restaurant, which serves authentic shawarma sandwiches and more. Plenty of other Middle Eastern shops fill South Paterson’s Main Street, like Fattal’s Syrian Bakery, Nouri Cafe, Nablus sweets, and Kabul Halal Meat Market and Grocery.
Among the visitors to Levantine Sweets was Waleed Elbatrawish, the Imam at Darul Islah mosque in Teaneck.
“I have been friends with Mohammed for many years, and I hope his new store is successful, mashallah (A phrase that expresses awe. Literally, it means ‘what god has willed has happened’). It’s beautiful, and I wish him well. May he serve our community and beyond,” Elbatrawish said.
Paterson mayor Andre Sayegh also visited, lining up outside for the ribbon cutting. Holding the giant scissors with Abdallah and others, Sayegh proclaimed, “we are gathered here to cut the ribbon for Levantine Sweets, where they will sell chocolates, sweets and a lot of nuts,” to chuckles.
Mayor Sayegh continued: “This store will add to the vibrance of South Paterson, a bustling business district. I appreciate Mohammed Abdallah investing in our city and opening this fine establishment, and we wish him success.”
Later, the mayor, who is of Syrian and Lebanese descent, performed the traditional Lebanese dabke dance with other men as Arabic music blared.
After the celebrating, speeches, dancing and delicious sampling at Levantine Sweets, Abdallah sat on a small stool outside wiping his forehead. He grinned while pointing far into the distance.
“I hope everyone comes together in my store. We are all a unique and beautiful fabric of brothers and sisters, and we all share the same humanity.”