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Community Stories Interviews: Finding Home in the Salt Lake Valley

Interviewed & translated into English by Maysa Kergaye

Sarah Abdul-Jabbar


My name is Sarah Abdul-Jabbar, I am a single mother to four children and I currently work at Walmart in customer service. My oldest daughter Dania is 13 years old and she loves to play games, and my daughter Zeynup is 11 years old and she loves to draw and color. My third daughter is eight years old and she loves to draw, and my youngest daughter Rawan is 2.5 years old.

I came to Utah six years ago with my husband for the safety of our family and hoping for a better future for our children. I really miss my family and relatives back in Iraq, especially my mom.  My biggest challenge that I need help with is educating my children. They have fallen behind in school and my language is not strong enough to help them. I wish we could get tutoring help from the community.

Safa & Mahmoud


My name is Safa and I have six children. My husband and I left Syria 9 years ago when I was pregnant with my fifth child because it was not safe. We went to Jordan to deliver and since the war got worse in Syria, it was not safe to go back. Life in Jordan was difficult for my family, we were treated like second-class citizens and my kids were having a hard time in school. We were so blessed and lucky to come to the US in 2016. Even though we did not know much English, my husband was able to get multiple jobs.

His first job was at Deseret industries where he received English classes as well. He has worked at hotels in their laundry services, at the airport, and laying tiles, which is his profession. My children are doing very well in school and my oldest should be graduating high school next year and going to college. I have graduated from the Spice Kitchen Incubator program and I offer catering services. Business has been slow since COVID, but if you would like to taste some Syrian, food give me a call.

We love living in Utah, the people are wonderful, we feel safe, and if you work hard you can make ends meet. We even have a plot in a community garden. I really miss my family and my parents whom I keep in my prayers and talk to regularly through the internet.

If anyone wants catering services, reach Safa at (385) 368-7556, and Mahmoud for tile laying at (385) 242-3711.

لمحاشي عبارة عن خضار بتنحشى.رز ولحمة وملح وفلفل

كوسا بيتنجان.فليفلهِ ِ بتنطبخ صوص بندورة.وتوم ورشة نعناع

ورق العنب بينحشىِلحمه مدهنه ورز. ملح فلفلِ بينطبخ بعصير


Welcoming Salt Lake
2001 S State St  S1-300
PO Box 144575
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone: (385) 468-4861