CORK Palestinian eatery Izz Café has donated over €6,000 to the Trócaire Gaza fund from a fundraiser they ran over the weekend.
Izzeddeen Akarajeh and his wife Eman, who came to Ireland as Asylum seekers, run the popular café on George's Quay, serving up Middle Eastern and Palestinian food as well as coffee and sweet treats.
Mr Akarajeh said that the response to the fundraiser, which saw queues line the street, was “much beyond expectations”.
He said that he approached a family friend Janet Twomey, who is the Centres and Volunteers Officer at Trócaire to come up with a way to help in response to the current situation in Gaza.
When he learned that Trócaire had a campaign to respond to the crisis via online donations for the cause he began advising customers to donate through their website.
After he posted about Trócaire on the café’s social media, a customer suggested a charity day and they decided to implement the idea, donating the proceeds of coffee and desserts to the cause.
After baking until 2am on Sunday and only a few hours sleep, they opened the door at 10am to a queue which was about 100 metres long.
“Most of the desserts that were baked overnight were sold by lunchtime. We had to start baking again during the day. We had to stop our mains menu because the whole team started being busy preparing the desserts,” he said.
A total of €6,060 was made from the fundraiser which was held on Sunday after “a constant stream of customers” visited the café throughout the day.
He said that there were still a lot of customers approaching closing time and that they had to advise people in the queue that they were closing shortly but that they could still donate to Gaza via Trócaire online.
“This again proved to us that the dispatch of our family to Cork was a gift from God. Irish people are so generous, kind and wonderful and people of the real capital have a great deal of this.
“Every single gesture of the people of Cork suggests that we are them, we are no different. And all of this is making us a proud Irish Corkainian Palestinian family forever,” he said.
Donations can be made by visiting here.