Syrian refugees respond to Hurricane Irma by cooking feast for 40 victims


Two Syrian refugee sisters now living in Georgia, USA cooked various dishes for a group evacuees

Syrian refugees Abeer and Nora cooked for Hurricane Irma evacuees (Sweet & Savory/Facebook)
Nadine Dahan's picture
Last update: 
Friday 15 September 2017 18:19 BST

Two Syrian refugee sisters living in Georgia, USA, cooked an assortment of Middle Eastern dishes to welcome a group of 40 people affected by Hurricane Irma.

Abeer and Nora al-Sheikh Bakri, who fled their hometown of Douma in 2012 before resettling in Georgia in 2016, told Huffpost that they know what it’s like to lose everything, and thus felt "compelled" to help.

They drove for an hour to deliver the food to the Hamzah Islamic Center in Alpharetta, Georgia, where dozens of evacuees had taken refuge from the storm, the Huffpost reported.

The sisters refused to receive any compensation for their efforts, saying that they had lived through displacement themselves and didn't want the evacuees to “feel uprooted” in the same way.

“We are the same as Americans. We don’t wish ill on anyone. This is within our nature as Syrians. This is what our religion tells us to do,” Nora told the website.

Hurricane Irma displaced more than half a million people in a devastating storm which hit the southeast of the country.

“I called my sister Nora and we got cooking,” Abeer, 28, told HuffPost. “We were uprooted from war. We know the feeling of leaving everything behind.”

There are more than five million Syrian refugees, and 6.5 million displaced internally, together accounting for half of the entire population, figures from the UN show.

The two sisters have set up their own catering business Sweet & Savoury, which has attracted more great compliments since their show of generosity.

Hurricane Irma has killed more than 60 people so far with destruction widespread throughout Florida and nearby states.

It has been categorised as one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record.