KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The story of a Syrian refugee who relocated to Knoxville and ended up starting a popular and successful falafel restaurant is the subject of a new short film produced by Square.
Twitter and Square founder and CEO Jack Dorsey was in Knoxville for the premiere of the film at Yassin’s Falafel House in Downtown Knoxville. The film is a finalist at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The film focuses on the restaurant’s owner, Syrian immigrant Yassin Terou who was forced to leave his home country due to war. Not speaking English or knowing anyone in the United States, he went to his local mosque in Knoxville to ask for work, but they could only offer food and monthly assistance.More online:Watch the film
That wasn’t enough for Terou who felt he could work and earn his own living. He started selling homemade falafel and juices at the mosque, which he made in his shared apartment. They were very popular, but not enough to earn Terou a living. Imam and Knoxville resident Nadeem Saddiqi approached him about opening a restaurant in Downtown Knoxville, which was an immediate success.Previous story: Syrian refugee talks about life in East Tennessee
Terou says making the perfect falafel isn’t his only dream – but also to bring together people of all kinds, so everyone is welcome at his restaurant, regardless of race, beliefs, national origin or anything else.