From Direct Provision to Cork Persons of the Month

Izzeddeen and wife Eman Alkarajeh left direct provision in Cork and together with their four children, overcame all odds, to build a new life and successful Palestinian food business in Cork. Pictured at their Cork Persons of Month award presentation l/r Manus O’Callaghan, award organiser; Izz and Eman Alkarajeh, Cork Persons of Month; George Duggan, Cork Crystal. (Picture: Tony O’Connell Photography)

Izzeddeen and wife Eman Alkarajeh overcame the odds of moving to a new country, a new city, learning a new language and spending time in Direct Provision to build a very successful new life and business.

Their food and restaurant business are now being celebrated by Cork’s top foodies and by national food critics, for their traditional Palestinian cuisine. The couple have now been chosen as Cork Persons of the Month.

From Palestine, Izz moved to Saudi Arabia in 1999 to find work after he graduated from university with a degree in Computer Science. Here he met his wife Eman, originally from Jordan. In 2005, the couple applied to return to Palestine with their family.

But because Eman did not have civilian status in Palestine, and as Izz’ contract in Saudi Arabia was coming to an end, this put enormous pressure on the couple to find somewhere where their family could live together.

Originally, the couple applied for skilled immigration to Canada, but the age requirements were changed before they had received their visas. 

Full story in this week’s Print & Digital Edition