World Refugee Day
World Refugee Day honors the strength and courage of refugees and encourages public awareness and support for people who have had to flee their homelands because of conflict or natural disaster.
Around the world, communities, schools, businesses, and people from all walks of life are taking big and small steps in solidarity with refugees. This World Refugee Day, we challenge everyone to join together and take a step with refugees. We encourage you to meet the market families, hear their stories, and support their businesses.
Join us Saturday June 22nd for a special market highlighting the many market refugee families and their stories. Event details here.
Read more to discover each family’s story.
Rabah | Henna by Rabah
Rabah came to the United States as a refugee from Syria. She now lives in the Phoenix area with her five children. Rabah is a talented henna artist, and owns her own business, “Henna by Rabah”. She started creating henna designs as a child with clay which grew into a lifelong love of the art. Rabah can often be found at farmer’s markets and other events sharing her culture and designs with the community.
Nada Al Rubaye | Finer Arts by Nada
Nada arrived in the United States as a refugee from Iraq. Before leaving Iraq, Nada studied design and fine painting at the University of Baghdad, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art.
In the U.S., Nada launched her own art business, “Finer Arts by Nada”, selling paintings and jewelry. Her oil paintings have been placed in several galleries and her custom jewelry is a popular item at markets. Nada loves creating art in a variety of forms including fused glass, painting, and jewelry. She likes mixing styles together to create something colorful and unique.
Rodain Abo Zeed | Rodain’s Syrian Kitchen
Rodain, husband Khaled, and three young boys arrived as refugees in 2016. Prior to being forced to flee their home in Daraa, Syria they ran a family owned restaurant which was destroyed by the war. Rodain began working with IRC to rebuild her business in the U.S and with the help of a micro-loan debuted Rodain’s Syrian Kitchen at Phoenix Public Market in November 2018
Rodain provides artisan sweets, Turkish coffee, traditional middle eastern grilling (kofta kebabs) and falafel. She uses special blends of herbs and spices called Baharat which includes cardamon, sumac, and caraway.
Nabiha Bejaoui | Habbouz Tunisian Cuisine
Nabiha is from Tunis, the capital of Tunisia located in northern Africa. She met her husband abroad and moved to the United States with her four children in 2012. Her dishes feature Mediterranean ingredients like olive oil, tomatoes, and peppers. Her cuisine is famous for harissa, a chili and garlic sauce known as the official condiment of Tunisia. She specializes in vegetarian dishes, sweets, pickled vegetables, and traditional breads.
Basmh Al Zoubani | Zoubani Sweets
Basmh arrived with her husband and five children from Syria in 2015 through the IRC. It brings her joy to share her culture through food. She loves to host dinners in her home and bake for family and friends.
One day she dreams to have her own bakery shop. You can support her and enjoy her sweets every Saturday at the market. Basmh specializes in baklava, basbousa, and kunafa.
James and Jawn Golo | Golo Family Farm
James and Jawn Golo were forced to flee their home during the Liberian Civil War. In 1990, with their five children they left Monrovia, Liberia’s capital. They spent 15 years in a refugee camp in Ghana. With the support of the IRC, the Golo’s have established a life in Litchfield Park, running a family farm. The Golos are working on securing land in Litchfield, Arizona and are currently raising funds for a new well.
Hussein Al Hamka | Al Hamka Farm
In 2007 Hussein Al Hamka and his family abandoned their 75-acre farm in Iraq. After spending two years in a refugee camp in Syria they resettled in Phoenix in 2009 with the help of International Rescue Committee. Growing in South Phoenix and in the west Valley, Hussein specializes in varieties of vegetables including his famous cucumbers and melons. He also spends his time teaching other refugee families how to grow food in the Valley, sharing his knowledge and tools to support others.