West End not-for-profit Mu’ooz could expand interstate

Saba Abraham has trained more than 140 people through her West End restaurant, Mu’ooz. Photo: Bradley KanarisSaba Abrahams knows a thing or two about the troubles refugees can face as they adapt to life in Australia.
Nanjing Night Net

Almost a quarter-century ago, Ms Abraham fled Eritrea, in the midst of a bloody battle for independence with neighbouring Ethiopia.

She had found herself on the wrong side of the authorities and came to Australia as a political refugee in 1992.

And while she has found a safe haven, Ms Abraham never forgot her past.

That was why, through her West End not-for-profit restaurant Mu’ooz, she had helped more than 140 people, mostly refugees, receive training, education and employment to make the most of their opportunities in Australia.

And now, Ms Abraham is looking at expanding interstate.

“We try to help a lot of people, including some Australians who have some difficulty in their lives – they might be homeless people, for example,” she said.

“I try to talk to them, find out their problems and try to give them hope and, of course, at the same time I feed them.”

Ms Abraham said she had been in touch with women in Canberra, Sydney and Perth about extending her foundation to those cities.

“My dream is these restaurants will be sustainable and grow not only but interstate as well, because there are a lot of women who can benefit from this foundation,” she said.

Ms Abraham opened Mu’ooz in 2008 and has offered hospitality and language courses, traineeships and employment to needy women since.

Most recently, Ms Abraham employed and trained 18 women from Eritrea, Burundi, Congo, Fiji and other backgrounds in Certificates I, II and III in Hospitality at Mu’ooz.

The restaurant name came from Ms Abraham’s native tongue.

“In the Eritrean tradition, when you eat food and you really feel good about it, you say ‘oh wow that’s mu’ooz’, which means it’s something really tasty and your body’s accepting it as well,” she said.

Ms Abraham’s story was part of a State Library of Queensland exhibition, Tradition NOW, which showcased 12 diverse Queenslanders through objects, photographs, art and memories – an involvement she was thrilled with.

“I really feel great, very happy and very valued,” she said.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.