Living Leeside: Ziad makes a clean start to life in Cork

Palestinian Ziad Samaro has big dreams and he wants to realise them in Cork. Roisin Burke speaks to the young entrepreneur.
Living Leeside: Ziad makes a clean start to life in Cork

Ziad Samaro is working on the dream of growing his new business in his new home, Cork.

A determined soul, Ziad Samaro is working on the dream of growing his new business in his new home, Cork.

Coming to Cork from Palestine three and a half years ago, Ziad was an asylum seeker who was transferred to Cork from Dublin.

“Initially I didn’t want to go to Cork. I had friends in Dublin and I told them when I get my papers, I would return, but after a few weeks in Cork, I knew I was going to stay here.”

After working two jobs for two years, dedicating 16 hours a day to working in customer service as well as delivering takeaways on his motorbike, Ziad opened his own car cleaning company three weeks ago, Flash Wash.

Ziad’s business Flash Wash washes cars, trucks, private and commercial vehicles with attention to detail using state-of-the-art technology.

The enterprise provides a full range of services using high-pressure hot steam which is gentle on the car, eco-friendly, and highly efficient as well as sanitizing without chemicals.

The young Palestinian (31) said he learned the tricks of his trade growing up in Palestine.

“My dad had a garage and car wash when I was a kid. I loved it, I grew up washing cars since I was 14. When I came to Ireland, I realised deep steam cleaning would be good here.”

Ziad said he hopes his business continues to grow and said over the past three weeks he has had a lot of custom and is very optimistic about the future.

The entrepreneur said he has a lot of big plans for the years ahead and was just taking things step by step.

“I have a lot of ideas, but the business is new, I have to do this for a while first.”

Ziad said, so far, customers have been very pleased with his work.

“It’s been amazing, everyone is so curious and interested in my business, they ask me lots of questions about my process and how it all works. People have been very supportive.”

The driven Palestinian said he was waiting almost two years to get his papers allowing him to legally stay in Ireland.

“It was an amazing feeling getting the news, before there was no guarantee that I would be allowed to stay and then Cork became my new home. Life started from there.”

Back home, Ziad has his mother and four sisters. His father died some years ago from a heart attack.

Ziad said he sends money back to his family in Palestine and tends not to spend much money on himself.

“I have a motorbike that I love. I have a scooter I used for delivering takeaways and I have a Kawasaki motorbike for getting around Cork. I love to take off, enjoying the good weather, it’s amazing. I really feel my freedom on the bike, I enjoy it.

“My absolute favourite spot in Cork is the Blackrock Castle or Nohoval Cove if I want to go for a swim on a warm summer day.”

A fit fella, Ziad tries to keep up a little football with friends as well as some sea swimming from time to time.

While Ziad is enamoured with Cork and all its fine characteristics, he said it was a little challenging getting to grips with the weather when he first arrived.

“In Palestine, it’s mostly warm and hot so it took me quite a while to adapt. Now I am grateful that I get to enjoy some rainy days.”

Ziad said he was out on the bike delivering takeaways during cold winters and wet spring seasons.

Coming to Cork brought many cultural variations he had to adapt to, but Ziad said he has found himself picking up the Irish habit of apologising for everything.

“When I first arrived I couldn’t believe how much people apologised, they were sorry for everything, I think it’s very polite.”

Looking to the future, Ziad said he would like to find a wife in Cork and start a family.

“In the next two to three years I would like to get married and have a family, I think that is the next step for me.”

In terms of the ongoing pandemic, Ziad said he works so hard it has had little effect on him.

“It didn’t affect me, I don’t go out much, I just work all the time, but you don’t see people out enjoying life like before, that is really sad.”

Ziad said he has made great friends in Cork including Izz from Izz Cafe, who was also an asylum seeker at Kinsale Road Accomodation Centre.

“We are very close, we are like second families. He helps me with everything, setting up my business, etc, It is great to have that.”

Steam car cleans can be booked from Flash Wash on or on the App, Flashwash.

More in this section

Sponsored Content


Called Droid, our next story is about a boy who designs a robot at UCC and chaos ensues. It was written by Margaret Gillies, from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC.

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more