South Bay restaurants are 'Giving back to Gaza' through fundraisers for humanitarian aid

The focus of the fundraisers is to send relief support for the children of Gaza.

Lauren Martinez Image
Thursday, October 26, 2023
Here's how South Bay restaurants are 'Giving back to Gaza'
Bay Area restaurants are fundraising to send relief support for the children of Gaza.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Lines at a South Bay restaurant were out the door for their 'giving back to Gaza' fundraiser.

Hisham Abdelfattah is Palestinian and Filipino and owns the Mexican restaurant El Halal Amigos in San Jose.

"It's so devastating to see what is happening right in front of our eyes and we had to be a part of it," Abdelfattah said.

On Tuesday, 50% of proceeds from El Halal Amigos went toward humanitarian aid to Gaza.

On Wednesday, 50% of proceeds from Mirchi Café in Fremont and Dublin will go toward the same effort.

"If we didn't give back, then who are we as humans? How can we enjoy the soils and the fruits of our success without thinking of what's happening in front of us," Abdelfattah said.

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For Palestinian Americans, it's becoming increasingly harder to keep in touch with family members due to power shutoffs in the Gaza Strip.

The business and marketing group Halal Fest said this is all part of a two-week fundraiser.

Ali Malik, CEO of Halal Fest, said the fundraiser runs from October 24th to November 4th. Originally two Bay Area restaurants were involved and now the effort is spanning several restaurants and businesses even outside of California.

"It started off with two, and we have about fourteen now in the Bay Area alone, that's not counting Austin, Texas. We're going to move onto other states and cities around the country as well," Malik said.

The focus of the fundraisers is to send relief support for the children of Gaza.

"We're all humans, this could be us," Malik said.

MORE: Bay Area interfaith vigil held to reflect on events in Middle East

Across the Bay Area, there were a handful of events focused on the Middle East. An interfaith vigil was held to show solidarity with Israel.

Fremont resident Zoha Raza said hearts are heavy.

"A lot of us are going to protests, a lot of us are supporting in any way we can this is just one of them," Raza said.

Raza said it's nice to be in a community with people who want to make a difference.

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Rallies held in San Francisco on Friday called for peace and a resolution to be reached in the Israel-Hamas War.

San Jose resident Natima Neily said knowing the money she's spending tonight will go toward children, mothers, fathers and others in Palestine is important to her.

"We're raised to think that the only person we have to worry about is ourselves you know that we're responsible for own success, we have to pick ourselves up from our boot straps etc., etc. The reality is we are all on this giant floating rocket space right and it's easy to think what's happening on the other side of the world doesn't affect us, but the reality is we affect the people of Palestine," Neily said.

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A mural of peace was being painted onto the streets of Oakland by local kids and their families as the Israel-Hamas war entered a third week.

Abdelfattah said he's shocked and grateful to see how supportive his Willow Glen neighbors have been and everyone else who has come out.

"I've been feeling blessed as an owner to be in a community where people support a cause and the cause is for the children," Abdelfattah said.