Clothing from San Diego’s PaliRoots, a Palestinian philanthropic e-commerce apparel company that has given $2.8 million to children of Gaza since it launched in 2016.
SAN DIEGO — On Tuesday, San Diego’s Muslim startup companies will be recognized on a global level. Many of them are multi-million-dollar companies who started in San Diego and are expanding their roots.
The Center for Global Muslim Life will release its third annual top 100 Muslim startups and Tahini restaurant in Kearny Mesa is one of the two San Diego-based companies that made it on the list.
“A big part of our identity is being Muslim and to be recognized as a Muslim brand is an honor,” said Osama Shabaik, Tahini Co-Founder.
Tahini opened in 2017 and made it on Yelp’s 2019 top 100 places to eat in the U.S., it was also featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”
The Arab restaurant moved to a bigger space next to its original location and this week it will open its first franchise Shawarma Stackz in Northern California in the Galleria Mall in Roseville. In a few months it will open, Finjān, an Arab café in its former location on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard.
“Food is a shared culture and shared language amongst everybody. If food tastes good it doesn’t really matter where it’s from at the end of the day,” said Shabaik. “For us, this is a way to share our food and share out culture in a way that is uniquely ourselves.”
That’s the mission of The Center for Global Muslim Life, a San Diego-based research and media nonprofit that uplifts and studies the future of Muslim businesses.
“We are really about changing the story and helping people understand how Muslims are and the impact that we are making in the world,” said Dustin Craun, Center for Global Muslim Life, Founder.
The nonprofit’s founder says there are about 120,000 Muslims who live in San Diego County and that population is expected to grow.
“We are everyday people in the community working hard and making an impact,” said Craun.
Another multi-million dollar startup that is making an impact is San Diego’s PaliRoots, a Palestinian philanthropic e-commerce apparel company that has given $2.8 million to children of Gaza since it launched in 2016.
“We try to showcase more about the Palestinian people, humanize them, show the true hospitality of these people and bring as much funds to these children,” said Hussein Musa, PaliRoots CEO and Founder.
Through their Palestinian-made kufiyah clothing and authentic soaps, PaliRoots wants to give their people a voice and hope.
“At the end of the day we want to spread a message for Palestine that we want to be able to live together and freely,” said Musa.
And live in an inclusive community where you can eat freely.
“For our food to be eaten by a wide demographic is something we love and cherish,” said Shabaik.
The Center for Global Muslim Life says globally investments in Muslim startups reached more than $400 million and have doubled in the last seven years.
On Tuesday The Center for Global Muslim Life will announce the full list of the top 100 Muslim companies.