The couple Talal and Ghazal Al-Tinawi, both Syrian refugees in Brazil, felt the decrease of orders at their Arabic food delivery service due to the COVID-19 in Sao Paulo, the state with the highest number of cases in Brazil. Even so, they found a caring alternative to contribute to mitigating the new virus transmission.
“We arrived in Brazil seven years ago and we are grateful to the Brazilians, who received us with arms wide open and always helped us with our needs. Now it’s time to give back with the best we have: our Arabic food to those in need, the elderly”, says Talal, a mechanical engineer by profession.
The couple made an effort to increase their production so that 300 packed lunches could be delivered to the elderly, one of the most vulnerable at risk to the COVID-19 disease. Complying with the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation, the food is safely being delivered to their homes.
“We went through a similar situation in Syria, when we could not get out of our home because of the war. Our lives were in danger and we left because there was no other choice. Knowing these difficulties, we posted an ad on our social media page about the donation and countless orders started to come in”, says Ghazal, who works with her husband in the kitchen, paying close attention to the sanitation needs.
The profession of the refugee Syrian family as culinary entrepreneurs is common to many refugees who try to rebuild their lives in Brazil producing traditional food. Talal and Ghazal are featured on a webpage launched by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) listing local enterprises promoted by refugees in Brazil.