Zina Abboud

“I love cooking. It is in my blood. I do not only cook when I am awake, even when I am asleep; I am cooking in my dreams.”

Zina Abboud is a young Syrian from Aleppo. She left her country to lead a decent life, protect herself and start a new future. 

Three years ago, SPARK organization interviewed Zina Abboud as a part of THSN project. Zina introduced talked about her journey and success story:

 

 

 

Zina explains that when she first arrived to the Netherlands, life was much unexpected and she felt depressed. However, she decided to change this depression and negative energy. As she really loves cooking, she had the idea of starting her business in catering: Zina’s Kitchen.

“I love cooking. It is in my blood. I do not only cook when I am awake, even when I am asleep; I am cooking in my dreams.”

The idea came to her when she met a woman, a journalist who invited her to a New Year’s Eve party and from time to time, she and also her friends and family started to invite her or ask her to cater for them. Then, she registered her business and started working.

Zina explains that registering her business was a good feeling because it was not just an idea anymore. She talks passionately about a time when she catered for the Dutch royal family:

 “When I saw Princess Beatrix sitting at one of the tables, I couldn’t go back home without at least saying hello.  She told me she was sorry that I had to leave Syria, but she wishes me a good life here and a new start.”

Three years after we interviewed Zina, she has accomplished so much in her business.

Zina published a book in Dutch “Mijn Syriche Keuken”, with 65 Syrian recipes in Dutch. It also introduces Zina and her story. Zina managed to share her love for cooking, and her journey with Dutch people through the book, which can help in building ties between Syrians and the Dutch through food and understanding the Syrians journey to Europe:

“I wanted to bring the Syrian culture on the Dutch table.”

Zina also gave a talk in Tedx Alkmaar city, talking about her success story, journey to Europe, her separation from her children and managing to reunite with them. She engaged the audience in her story, as she engages them in the preparation of a recipe:

“Today, we are going to prepare a meal together with my story.”

In 2018, Zina was happy to receive an invitation from the prime minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, he signed her book and told her:

“The economy of the Netherlands is growing fast with people like you”

Zina would like to encourage anyone with an idea to just start and not hesitate because they are in a different country or a strange place. She explains that confidence is the most important thing, if one believes in something, they can achieve their dreams.

Zina now has a vast diverse range of clients; she caters for more than 20 organizations including public organizations such as the Municipality of Amsterdam and the Dutch police.

 

 

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This website is part of the project Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow — EMEN-UP (no. 764398) which has received funding from the European Union’s COSME Programme (2014-2020)

The Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow

This website is part of the project Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow — EMEN-UP (no. 764398) which has received funding from the European Union’s COSME Programme (2014-2020)

The Network for Migrant Entrepreneurs to Scale Up and Grow

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