Refugee to Restauranteur: the story behind Imad's Syrian Kitchen

10 Apr 2017

In March 2017, we teamed up with Unicef NEXTGeneration and The Hampstead Kitchen to bring a Syrian refugee’s idea to life.

Imad Alarnab was a successful restauranteur in Damascus. But when the war started, he had to leave his restaurants and home behind in search of safety for himself and his family. Now living in the UK, Imad dreams of running his own restaurant again. We made it our mission to help make that happen.

Together with Unicef NEXTGeneration and The Hampstead Kitchen, we launched Imad’s Syrian Kitchen on the Columbia Road. 24 hours after opening, all 800 tickets sold out, as Londoners from all backgrounds came together to show their support – and enjoy his falafel!

Imad showed us that with a kind heart and determination great things can happen. To be so grateful and appreciative of life even when it delivers blows – with no sense of entitlement, hatred or defeatism, just gratitude – is a lesson for us all.

This is just the beginning of the journey for Imad, so thanks to everyone who has supported, volunteered, shared his idea and helped him get started. Follow Imad’s story at #ImadsSyrianKitchen and look out for his next pop-up, appearing soon.

Want to make your idea happen in this space? Book here.


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