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Our Roots

About Us

 

Flavors from Afar, an events and catering service led and spirited by immigrants, promotes and celebrates the culinary traditions, cultures, and stories of refugees and asylum seekers in Southern California.

At our core, we believe that sharing a meal is a delicious opportunity for cultural exchange. Food unites people at the table - nourishing bodies, feeding minds, and fostering camaraderie and respect across diverse cultures. At Flavors from Afar, each meal is inspired by the chefs’ rich histories, cultural creativity, and several thousand-mile journey as a refugee. Every gathering is an intimate space for genuine cultural exchanges and authentic connections between Angelenos and our LA-newcomers.

Though founded in 2017, Flavors from Afar’s story began in 1984. At the age of 3, Meymuna and her family resettled in Southern California as refugees from Ethiopia. As she worked at swap meets and in fast food joints to help her family meet ends at home, she committed herself to a dream. When she was old enough, she was going to build a community to support refugee youth like her.

In 2010, that childhood dream became a reality. Meymuna and her mother, Owliya, teamed up to establish the Tiyya Foundation. Since its founding, Tiyya has transformed the refugee living experience in Orange County and surrounding areas through youth programs focused on education, arts, and health. Today, Tiyya has served more than 250 refugee families annually in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Now, as a new mother, Meymuna has found another dream: to support refugee parents and adults. Born out of the success and inspiration of the Tiyya Foundation, Flavors from Afar partners with refugees to help build their culinary careers in their new home and to build bridges between them and their Angeleno neighbors.