Syrian refugees serving up lunch at nonprofit eatery in Denver

Women will learn job skills during 8 month program
Posted at 10:01 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-25 00:32:42-04

DENVER -- A nonprofit restaurant turning women into entrepreneurs is welcoming another ambitious class: A group of Syrian refugees.

In the kitchen at Comal they roasted an entire lamb for their first lunch service. The pride that goes into each dish represents how thankful these women are for a new opportunity and a new life. 

Comal started back in December 2016 as a heritage food incubator, preserving traditional food and culture. Focus Points Family Resource Center used the space to provide job an language skills for Hispanic women. The program is now expanding to include Syrian refugees.

Sara Nassar said it is difficult to speak about her home because Syria in her words, "is not a normal place anymore." She described bombs going off in her hometown near Damascus.

"Just awful," said Nassar. "You know, after all, we just learn from every experience we get into no matter how hard it is. At the end it makes you who you are now."

She waited four years to come to the United States and is grateful for the hospitality she has received in Colorado.

"I want to do a lot for here [sic] because this place accepted me and welcomed me here," said Nassar.

She works alongside her mother in the kitchen prepping traditional Syrian dishes like hummus and baba ganoush. Nassar dreams of studying psychology but her mom wants to open a restaurant.

"I think this is the way she shows love to her family and this is the way she will show love to people in Denver," said Nassar.

Slavica Park with Focus Points told Denver7 it feeds her soul to be able to help these women, as she was once a refugee herself. 

"You know what they’re feeling and what they’re going through and how scary it was before they left home but it’s even scarier when you’re in an unknown place and unknown culture," said Park.

The refugees will serve lunch at Comal every Friday from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The restaurant is located in RiNo's Taxi development.


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