Cork restauranteur Izz talks about his rollercoaster life on TV series

Izzeddeen Akarajeh of Izz Cafe in Cork features on Teideal: Hector on TG4 this week
Cork restauranteur Izz talks about his rollercoaster life on TV series

SUCCESS STORY: Eman and Izz of Izz Café celebrated two years in business in May

IN May this year, Izzeddeen Akarajeh and his wife Eman celebrated two years since the opening of Izz Café in Cork.

In an article in The Echo, in the couple described the city as “the best community in Ireland”.

Izzeddeen and Eman set up Izz Café at 14, George’s Quay, after they came to Ireland with their four children seeking asylum.

In 2016, the family arrived in Ireland and applied for asylum which was granted to them after one year.

After spending a short time in a Direct Provision Centre in Dublin when they first arrived, the family were moved to another centre in Cork and later decided to remain in the Rebel County once their asylum application was approved.

While still living in Direct Provision, Izz completed a ‘start-your-own-business’ course through and the family were put in touch with Darina Allen who encouraged them to embark on the business idea.

“We thought that there was potential for our cuisine here,” he explained.

In May, 2019, they opened Izz Café, and the couple were then faced with the challenge of adapting their new business to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the final episode of Teideal: Hector on TG4 on Thursday (October 21) at 9.30pm, Izz talks about the struggles he went through while trying to find refuge for himself and his family, as well as the kindness they received from the community when they arrived in Cork

Hector also encounters brilliant entrepreneurs such as Eva Milka, owner of Gaelic Escargot in Carlow, and the Polish bakers of K&T Bakery in Cahersiveen.

He stops in for a chat in Dublin with Eden McGuinness who shares her story of family and the kindness of a stranger that she will never forget.

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