The Nicest Place in America: A halal restaurant feeds unpaid federal workers
- 21 January 2019
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As the US government’s shutdown continues, hundreds of its employees are not getting paid. A halal restaurant in Tennessee is trying to make a difference by offering free food to federal employees.
Yassin’s Falafel House, a Syrian restaurant in Tennessee, was named the Nicest Place in America by Reader’s Digest last year. The restaurant’s owner, Yassin Terou, who arrived in the US as a Syrian refugee in 2011, posted the restaurant’s free-meal initiative on Facebook.
“It’s important for me [to provide free meals] because these guys are our brothers and sisters, and they already did the work, and they aren’t getting paid,” ABC News quoted Terou as saying.
“For someone like me, who is living the American dream in the American land, … I believe every hard worker should reach his goal and have a good level of life.”
In October 2018, Knoxville mayor Madeline Rogero told ABC News that she feels the city has changed a lot in recent years. “New businesses like Yassin’s have come in. Terou has really torn down people’s perceptions of refugees, of Muslims, in the heart of Appalachia,” she said.
On December 22, the federal government shut its doors and stopped paying some 800,000 workers. They have recently been guaranteed back pay for when the government reopens.
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