Syrian Refugee Yassin Terou Does A Good Deed For Government Employees During Shutdown

'It’s important for me [to provide free meals] because these guys are our brothers and sisters.'

stock photo of a plate of falafel
Viktoria Hodos / Shutterstock

'It’s important for me [to provide free meals] because these guys are our brothers and sisters.'

A Syrian refugee who went on to open up a popular falafel restaurant is providing free meals to furloughed government workers, ABC News is reporting.

Yassin Terou just wants to give back. As Good Morning America reported in 2018, he fled war-torn Syria seven years ago, coming to an America that was in many ways gripped by anti-refugee sentiment. He admits that he had to contend with some hateful people when he arrived, but he fought back with a more powerful weapon: love.

Despite those obstacles, Terou made his way to Knoxville, Tennessee, and made his home there.

Once settled, Terou did what many immigrants do: he opened a restaurant, serving up the food he grew to love back in his homeland. Yassin’s Falafel House in Knoxville not only served (and continues to serve) delicious falafel but the restaurant’s entire “vibe” is one of inclusiveness. A sign on the wall makes it clear that everyone is welcome in his doors.

“All sizes, all colors, all ages, all sexes, all cultures, all religions, all types, all beliefs, all people, safe here at Yassin’s Falafel House.”

The attitude paid off: in 2018 his restaurant was named “The Nicest Place In America” by Readers Digest.

Always one to give back to the community that got him to where he is now, Yassin is extending his kindness to furloughed government workers in his city. He says it’s the right thing to do.

“It’s important for me [to provide free meals] because these guys are our brothers and sisters, and they already did the work, and they aren’t getting paid. For someone like me who is living the American dream in the American land… I believe every hard worker should reach his goal and have a good level of life.”

And on a post on his restaurant’s Facebook page, Terou reiterated his policy.

“We are more than happy to serve them because they been serving us all this [sic] days and we are not going to let them alone… #weallneedloveplusfalafel”

All the furloughed government employee has to do to get their free meal is to show their employee I.D. card to the cashier, that’s it, says the Knoxville News Sentinel.

It remains unclear, as of this writing, how many free meals Terou has given out.

Around the country, furloughed government workers are turning to charity to put food on their tables. For example, according to CNN, some government workers are going to food banks for food.