2016 has been a year Mohammad and Randa Alftih will never forget. The couple made the harrowing decision almost a year ago to flee their home in war torn Aleppo, Syria, and move their family to Peterborough to start their lives over.
Through the support of the community, their faith community and their sponsorship group—Safe Haven for Refugees—they are rebuilding their lives. Now, the family is excited to be opening a new business in downtown Peterborough called OMG (Oasis Mediterranean Grill), which will hold its grand opening on Monday, December 5th.
Left to Right: Professor Kenzu Abdella with Mohammad and Randa Alftih
With 20 years of expertise in running two successful businesses in Aleppo, Mohammad brings with him an incredible spirit of entrepreneurship and the desire to give his family a good life in Peterborough.
For Mohammad and Randa, opening a small restaurant would have been impossible if it weren’t for the fact that, late last spring, long-time Peterborough resident, Trent Math Professor Kenzu Abdella (pictured above with them), hadn’t offered to become a partner in order to make their dream of opening a business a reality.
Abdella, also President of the Kawartha Muslim Association, says that he is hoping that their business partnership might serve as a model for the business community of Peterborough and for recent arrivals. “New Canadians bring the skills and experience to really enrich our city,” says Abdella. “The last thing they want is to become dependent on social services. They have a strong work ethic and a strong desire to give back to the community. But they can’t do it alone.”
OMG is located at 480 George St. N. across from the old YMCA.