"I think it's an appropriate commemoration," co-owner Wassef Haroun says of the fundraiser.
Seattle restaurant Mamnoon is donating 10 percent of its revenue on Presidents Day to the American Civil Liberties Union “to fight for the rights of immigrants and refugees.” Mamnoon owners Wassef and Racha Haroun are from Syria; Wassef originally immigrated to work at Microsoft.
“I think it’s an appropriate commemoration,” Wassef says of the Monday, February 20, fundraiser.
“For us, looking at what’s happening,” with the Trump administration and immigration, Wassef says, “we were, of course, very disappointed and upset. But it was a rallying cry to do something.”
The couple has made an effort to employ Syrian refugees and has previously supported their welfare by way of Soup for Syria, a benefit at Mamnoon featuring soup made by Seattle chefs including Tom Douglas, Renee Erickson, Tamara Murphy, and Ethan Stowell, inspired by Barbara Massaad’s fundraiser cookbook of the same name. More benefits are in the planning stage, Wassef says.
Wassef has described Mamnoon’s highly praised “modern union” of Syrian, Lebanese, and Persian cuisine as their “ambassador for the culture.” (“Mamnoon” means “thankful” or “grateful” in Arabic.) They opened the Capitol Hill restaurant in 2012, and now also run the more casual Mamnoon Street, juice bar/cafe Anar, and the critically acclaimed Mbar.