Refugee mother Ruwaida G. may have lost a lot of her possessions when she fled from her home in Syria. However, she still possesses the one thing that could give her a new beginning in the U.S.: her mother’s cookie mold. Little did she know, this would help her start her very own cookie business.
The cookie mold is all that Ruwaida has from her Syrian past. It was all she had left with her when she and her family finally made it to the U.S. All her other possessions had previously been sold in exchange for essentials that her family of four needed to survive.
During the summer, Ruwaida and her family found themselves resettled in Atlanta, Georgia. She came with her husband Khaled and their two children. When they arrived, they struggled to make ends meet. Nonetheless, Ruwaida would serve her American friends cookies and cardamom-spiced coffee (even as they struggle to make food last). For Ruwaida, it was important to show gratitude.
Ruwaida’s cookies were a hit from the beginning.
Soon, Ruwaida’s friends encouraged her to do more than just serve the cookies at home. In fact, they inspired her to start selling them. That is how Ruwaida ended up selling some of her cookies during a local neighborhood music festival. At first, she was worried that people would not be interested in trying her cookies. The moment she got there though, the cookies sold out almost immediately. In fact, Ruwaida ended up selling all 45 dozens for cookies even before the bands started playing. This inspired Ruwaida to keep sharing a taste of Syria to more people. That’s why she created Sweet, Sweet Syria.
“Through her cookies, she hopes to share a side of Syria that most Americans sadly won’t get to experience—one that is warm, generous, and so very sweet,” the Sweet, Sweet Syria website explains. Ruwaida has managed to put a little cookie business with the help of some close American friends.
One of them is Amanda Avutu. She has always been impressed with Ruwaida’s cookies from the very beginning. ” They’re amazing. We joke about how a human needs eight loving touches a day to feel loved, and each one of Ruwaida’s cookies gets 10,” Avutu remarked. That’s because Ruwaida’s cookies take ten steps to make.
Today, you can help Ruwaida and Sweet, Sweet Syria Succeed by supporting their GoFundMe page. With the money, Ruwaida’s friend Marnie Grodzin says they hope to be able to rent a commercial kitchen and cover some of the other business costs. “Thank you for helping this family spread deliciousness and love from Syria,” the campaign reads.
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