Meet the New Roots Producers
HUSSEIN AL HAMKA
After facing religious persecution for his Yazid faith, Al Hamka and his wife, Shreen, left their 75-acre farm in Iraq in 2007 and spent the following two years in a refugee camp in Syria. In 2009, Al Hamka's family was
resettled with the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix, AZ. Since then, Al Hamka has become well-known throughout the Phoenix urban agriculture community and runs a small farm business. In addition, he sells produce at the Phoenix Public Market on Saturdays.
Tesfamechel fled Eritrea in 2012, and since then has truly been a cornerstone of the New Roots program. He farms at Cross Connections - a New Roots Community Garden, and Agave Farms in central Phoenix. He sells at the CamelBackyard Farm Stand in the fall and spring and at other various markets throughout Phoenix.
AlGezefee originally came to the United States after winning the lottery system from Sudan, which grants one person the chance to come to the US.
He grows at Spaces of Opportunity in South Phoenix and was well known last summer for his abundant eggplant harvest!
Ogou fled to neighboring Ghana by foot, leaving behind everything he knew. Both of Ogou’s parents farmed, and while serving in the army, he had lovingly tended the 76-acre cornfield responsible for feeding his fellow fighters. Ogou eventually built a happy life growing peanuts,
yams, and peppers in his adopted Ghanaian village, but when a shift in that nation’s leadership rendered him vulnerable once again, he slipped off to a cousin’s place in the bustling capital city of Ivory Coast. Planting was out of the question. In 2008, the United States granted Ogou asylum, and he relocated to Chicago and then eventually to Phoenix, AZ.
Mohamdian came to the United States in 2004 and obtained his Bachelors Degree in Economic Science. He has worked as an Inventory Control Auditor with PetSmart for 15 years. In addition Mohamdian has spent time working as a chicken farmer and currently farms at Spaces of Opportunity Farm. You will always see him with a smile on his face.
RABAH AL HARIRI
Rabah is a talented henna artist, and owns her own business, “Henna by Rabah”. She started creating henna designs as a child with clay which grew into a lifelong love of the art. Rabah can often be found at farmer’s markets and other events sharing her culture and designs with the community. In addition Rabah is a wonderful baker and produces the Syrian Bread offered through CamelBackyard.