Meet Our Producers

HUSSEIN AL HAMKA

Iraq

After facing religious persecution for his Yazid faith, Al Hamka and his wife, Shreen, left their 75-acre farm in Iraq in 2007 and spent the following two years in a refugee camp in Syria. In 2009, Al Hamka's family was

resettled with the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix, AZ. Since then, Al Hamka has become well-known throughout the Phoenix urban agriculture community and runs a small farm business. In addition, he sells produce at the Phoenix Public Market on Saturdays. 

 

TAREKE TESFAMECHEL

Eritrea

Tesfamechel fled Eritrea in 2012, and since then has truly been a cornerstone of the New Roots program. He farms at Cross Connections - a New Roots Community Garden, and Agave Farms in central Phoenix. He sells at the CamelBackyard Farm Stand in the fall and spring and at other various markets throughout Phoenix. 

 

HAMEED ALGEZEFEE

Sudan

AlGezefee originally came to the United States after winning the lottery system from Sudan, which grants one person the chance to come to the US. 

He grows at Spaces of Opportunity in South Phoenix and was well known last summer for his abundant eggplant harvest!

 

KOFFI OGOU

Togo

Ogou fled to neighboring Ghana by foot, leaving behind everything he knew. Both of Ogou’s parents farmed, and while serving in the army, he had lovingly tended the 76-acre cornfield responsible for feeding his fellow fighters. Ogou eventually built a happy life growing peanuts,

yams, and peppers in his adopted Ghanaian village, but when a shift in that nation’s leadership rendered him vulnerable once again, he slipped off to a cousin’s place in the bustling capital city of Ivory Coast. Planting was out of the question. In 2008, the United States granted Ogou asylum, and he relocated to Chicago and then eventually to Phoenix, AZ. 

 
 

ABDELGABAR MOHAMDIAN

West Sudan

Mohamdian came to the United States in 2004 and obtained his Bachelors Degree in Economic Science. He has worked as an Inventory Control Auditor with PetSmart for 15 years. In addition Mohamdian has spent  time working as a chicken farmer and currently farms at Spaces of Opportunity Farm. You will always see him with a smile on his face.

DAWLAT ALRIFAI 

Syria

Dawlat is a mother of five from Syria who is passionate about sharing her culture and food with the community. She joined the Syrian Sweets Baking Exchange and began working towards her small business goals in IRC’s Microenterprise Program as an artisan baker, basket weaver, and soap maker. She is currently attending college alongside her daughter in pursuit of her dream to become a teacher.

 
 

MARIAM ALBAZAZI

Syria

Mariam is from Syria and arrived in the United States in 2016. She is passionate about baking and joined the Syrian Sweets Baking Exchange shortly after getting settled in the Phoenix area. Mariam was motivated to turn her hobby into a small Business and started working toward her goal through IRC’s Microenterprise Development Program.

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