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Ali, 51 years old, and Roshin, 41 years old, from Syria

“We are a team,” says Ali and his wife Roshin, who have been married for the last 24 years. They have six children and two grandchildren.

They have been living in Ritsona Refugee Camp for the past year and a half and they are the owners of the volunteers’ favorite falafel place.

“The difficulties made our love stronger,” stresses Ali as he puts a tablespoon of oil into the frying pan before adding the falafels. He waits till they turn golden and crisp. Then he trims and halves tomatoes, cabbage, pepper and onion, he squeezes a lemon and assembles a delicious wrap. Other than the beloved falafel, the small, make-shift restaurant serves Arab delicacies such as fried donuts in honey syrup.

The store brings them happiness. Before it, they had nothing to do in the camp. Ali would like to make his store cozier but he does not have enough money, and investing in it is difficult because of the uncertainty of his future. On the walls of the store, colorful paintings made by little Osman, the family’s youngest grandchild, provide the artistic backdrop of the restaurant.

“We hung them there because we wanted to encourage him to make more,” says Ali.


Photo & Story: I AM YOU.

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