RAHAF ALAKBANI + ESMAEEL ABOFAKHER
CO-FOUNDERS, newcomer kitchen
Rahaf Alakbani and Esmaeel Abofakher are wife and husband Syrian newcomers who came to Canada in February 2016. They were social workers, working at an international organization in Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey.
Since they came they were actively involved in many social programs that help other Syrian Newcomers.
Rahaf and Esmaeel with Len Senater and Cara Benjamin founded the Newcomer Kitchen project who brought Syrian women to participate and cook Syrian meals together.
Rahaf is the lead coordinator and the lead cook at the kitchen every Thursday. She also works on recipe development.
Esmaeel is the human resource coordinator and does outreach to participating Syrian women, communicating the project status, and coordinating the weekly cooking schedule. Both Rahaf and Esmaeel assist in the organization of catering events and raising awareness about the project at conferences.
Rahaf is also a soloist and co-conductor with the Culturelink Nai Syrian kids Choir. Esmaeel plays Bozuk with the choir as well.