The Sweet and Sour of Life

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, May 19, 2021
With support from USAID, Salam was able to rebuild his pickle factory and develop their business.
DCEO for USAID

Pickles are an essential part of Iraqi cuisine. They are served at nearly every restaurant in Iraq and no dinner table is complete without the popular appetizer. Salam Hassan has been making pickles since 1997, when he started Taj Al Akhawaen, now a well-known pickles factory in Bashiqa in Ninewa, out of his home kitchen with his two brothers. They began by selling pickles to their neighbors but word spread quickly. Soon they outgrew the kitchen and opened a full-fledged pickles factory, which now provides a range of pickled products in Ninewa and Iraqi Kurdistan. 

Taj Al-Akhawaen Pickle Factory in Bashiqa, Ninewa Iraq
The aftermath of the conflict with ISIS at the Taj Al-Akhawaen pickle factory
DCEO for USAID

Salam’s factory was heavily damaged during the liberation from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He used all of his savings to rebuild Taj Al Akhawaen – purchasing new tools and equipment to restore his production line, which produces seven tons of pickles per month. Still, Salam struggles to keep up with the increasing demand from his clients without purchasing higher-capacity equipment. 

“We receive orders of around 12 tons of pickles, but we can only produce seven with the equipment that we have. God willing, with the new equipment we will be able to grow even further”. 

With USAID support, Salam conducted a market assessment to identify the volume of pickles his factory needs to produce to meet the market demand. Based on this, Taj Al Akhawaen seeks to expand production from seven to 12 tons per month.  USAID is also helping Salam upgrade his factory with industrial containers, new pickle barrels, and vegetable cutting machines. “Our factory was completely destroyed when we returned to Bashiqa. Until this day we are trying to make up for the losses we faced. This assistance will help us meet this new rate of orders and increase our staff.”

Last updated: November 01, 2021

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