After ISIS, Nadjah revives his bakery with passion
PORTRAIT – Thanks to the economic revival program carried out by Fraternity in Iraq, Nadjah has been able to reopen his bakery, which he had abandoned at the time of the 2014 exodus. Today, smiles and good smells have returned to Bartalla.
Everything in the personality of Nadjah reveals his passion for his profession. Imposing man with a strong voice, this baker impresses with his determination. He spares no effort: his day begins at four in the morning and only ends after 10 in the evening!
Nadjah learned the trade from his grandfather and father in a family bakery, and in turn he passes on his know-how and passion to his sons. While many bakers opt for the comfort of electric ovens, he has always been keen to preserve the traditional methods of baking his two types of bread: the « samoun » and the « khoubous ». The former is a clay brick oven, the latter a mud and hay one.
Renowned for the quality of his bread, his bakery employed 16 people before the 2014 exodus… Like everyone else, Nadjah had to flee the arrival of ISIS and leave his life behind, when he had only just moved in in his new home, which he had acquired and renovated thanks to long days of hard work. Today, nothing remains of the $172,000 he invested…
In exile in Erbil’s Ankawa district, one must find a way to survive. He naturally decided to team up with his brothers to start up a traditional bakery. Sales do not always cover the rent. The desire to return to Bartella, his hometown – located 20 km from Mosul – is becoming more urgent. After the liberation of the Nineveh Plain, Nadjah then decided to go there every other day to restore his former premises himself… he is even able to rejoice that they did not burn it all down. Such a resilient man!
In awe of so much determination, Fraternity in Iraq did not hesitate to support him in his project. He managed to reopen his traditional bakery in June. To ensure its success, this experienced tradesman has set up a promotional operation… free distribution, followed by an incredible offer: one batch of breads bought gives a free one! His strategy has worked wonderfully. And now, along with six employees and four of his sons, Nadjah sells his bread rolls to the people of Bartella and from the surrounding villages, using 200 kilos of flour per day. They also supply seven restaurants. He hopes to return soon to his previous level of production: one tonne per day !
In addition to his passion for his job, this outstanding baker passes on to all his customers and visitors his out-and-out smile and joie de vivre! Congratulations and good luck !
To support other craftsmen and small-scale entrepreneurs of the Nineveh Plain like Nadjah, help us!