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June 23, 2021

Maamon Majeed, 46, grew up in a small village called Blan near the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. Maamon was always looking to create something bigger than himself to help his community, keeping an open mind to new opportunities as they came. He began his career in construction, working with American companies and even with the U.S. Army. When his project with the U.S. Army was wrapping up, he learned that USAID was starting an agriculture program and they were looking for worthy projects to support. Maamon instantly thought of the poor quality of meat available in Iraq

June 22, 2021

Before ISIS invaded his hometown of Sinjar, Marwan Khudaida, 30, was a welder. Together with his family, Marwan fled to the mountains, where they stayed for 5 years, and Marwan continued to earn a living by welding. When he returned to Sinjar, hoping to restart his welding business, Marwan found his house and workshop destroyed.

June 22, 2021

Zeena Maher is a 39-year-old seamstress and mother of four from Tamim City in western Iraq. When ISIS occupied Ramadi, her sewing shop was destroyed and she lost her only source of income. 

June 22, 2021

Peshang, 21, is a Software Engineering student at Salahuddin University in Erbil. During the lockdown, he saw Iraqi businesses moving their operations online. Many businesses were able to operate virtually, except for the fitness sector. Seeing this gap, and given his academic background in software engineering, he decided to create GymHok – the first online fitness platform in Kurdistan. 

June 22, 2021

Since she was a little girl, Zinah, 32, has loved scents and perfumes -- she even made her first eucalyptus scent at 9-years-old. In 2014, Zinah turned her favorite hobby into a profession when she opened Ishtar, where she sells natural, handmade soaps scented with her own fragrances. Zinah also wanted to make sure her business supports women in her community.  “I wanted to make a business where I can use my talent to make products that smell good, but also only hire women in need so that every dollar we make can go to the right place,” said Zinah. 

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Last updated: June 28, 2021

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