Khaled Abo Alhawa was a farmer in his native Syria before his family were forced to flee the civil war and became refugees. They were resettled in the United States in the summer of 2017 and began to integrate and rebuild their lives in the Greater Atlanta Area. In December 2021—with passion, dedication and a dream in hand—Khaled and his wife opened their first family business—Kababji Grill in Duluth.
Kababji Grill serves authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food with a focus on providing a fresh and healthy alternative to fast food in a busy outdoor shopping area. When asked why he chose to start a business, owner Khaled shared, “Because working for someone can be difficult, but starting your own business is an investment towards a better life and future.”
Working for someone can be difficult, but starting your own business is an investment towards a better life and future.
“The most challenging part of establishing my business was navigating the licensing and permit process in the beginning,” said Khaled. “But IRC’s Microenterprise Development (MED) program helped me do this and took the lead.” The IRC in Atlanta also assisted Khaled with applying for an interest free $10,000 micro-loan to purchase new equipment for his business. He continues to work with his IRC Business Counselor regularly as he builds-out his marketing strategy and revamps his website and menu.
Since the launch of the MED program in January 2018, the IRC in Atlanta has supported refugee and immigrant entrepreneurs to open 72 new businesses and worked with 96 individuals to strengthen their existing businesses.
Much of our MED program’s success is made possible by Georgia community members who support these growing businesses—as volunteers, donors, interns, mentors and patrons. We know that refugees bring many skills, strengths and talents with them as they rebuild their lives in the United States and we are honored to support these entrepreneurial and resilient individuals in the pursuit of their own American dream.
You can visit and support Kababji Grill—and enjoy their excellent cuisine—at 3640 Satellite Blvd in Duluth, open seven days a week!
Are you a business owner or aspiring entrepreneur in Georgia? To learn more about the IRC in Atlanta's Microenterprise Development (MED) program, or to access our MED services, please contact [email protected].
To learn more about the work of the IRC in Atlanta and for information on how you can get involved with the IRC as a donor or volunteer, please contact Senior Development Manager, Heloise Ahoure, at [email protected] or 678-636-8941.