April 21, 2014

Middle Eastern

Chez Zara sets its European style presence in downtown Detroit

When driving down Woodward Ave in downtown Detroit it might be easy to miss the little coffee shop on the corner of State St. named Chez Zara, but for the Detroiters who work in the area every day, this French style shop located inside of the Kresge Building has gradually become a favorite hot spot since opening its doors in early 2010.

Harmonie Garden back where it belongs at Motor City college

Owner Taher Jaber first brought his Middle Eastern cuisine specialties to downtown Detroit in 1993 and he recently opened his new restaurant, Harmonie Garden Cafe, in the midtown area of Wayne State University.

Jaber has acquired a large customer base including students, doctors, professors and more looking for healthy food options in the area, and he's known for his falafel. 

Jaber recently learned one customer even named her daughter after the original restaurant.

The Ansara dynasty: An immigrant success story

Along with his three sons Andrew, Norman, and Victor, as well as his nephew Lew and his late brother George, Andrew Ansara, Sr. has created a restaurant business empire in Michigan.What started with an $800 loan for the Ansara brothers in the mid-50's from their milkman has grown into a network of popular franchises including 22 Red Robin and 6 Big Boy restaurants along with signature, original Mediterranean and burger-themed restaurants.

Andrew Ansara, Sr. is also a board member of the Arab American and Chaldean Council, a premier non-profit organization that is helping to rebuild Detroit and the lives of Arab and other Americans from the inside-out. Ansara, Sr. considers himself "semi-retired" but still enjoys working each weekday with his family, continuing the strong bond he had with his late brother and business partner and the rest of his family. 

Most immigrant success stories start with a single idea, and, of course, a little bit of money to get it off the ground.

Muslim bikers take to the streets

DEARBORN — From tattoos to a menacing nickname, MOB has everything you'd expect from a rough and tough biker gang.
But look a little closer and you'll see that the group has little in common with the stereotypical above-the-law biker gangs you see on TV or in movies. The name MOB stands for...

Record turnout among Arab Americans

DEARBORN — Ibtisam Ahmed, 38, voted for the first time on Tuesday. She became a US citizen two years ago, 16 years after coming to the country.
"I felt like I was going to cry. I felt that I could actually do something," Ahmed said after voting Tuesday.
She said she's yearned for the right to vote during past presidential elections, and was overcome with emotion as she filled out her ballot at Woodworth Middle School in Dearborn.
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