By Meghan O’Brien SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Habiba Boru dreamed of opening a restaurant ever since she was a little kid.
She used to watch her mother cook meals for their family of 10 when they lived in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Habiba and her family fled Ethiopia when she was four years old, but her family held onto their roots, including meals and recipes, while at the camp.
At seven years old, Habiba eagerly watched her mother cook and begged her to let her give it a try. “I used to just look up to my mom so much and I always told her, I want to do the same thing you’re doing when I grow up,” she said.
Habiba moved to the U.S. alone when she was 14 and quickly developed a hard work ethic. She currently keeps a busy schedule as the mother of five children, a wife, a restaurant owner, and Mayor Ben Walsh’s scheduler.
She said her roles in life are something to be thankful for. “My mother did the same thing, and she never complained. And I don’t want to complain. I am grateful for what I have because there are a lot of people who are out there that don’t have what I have right now,” Habiba said.
Habibas Ethiopian Kitchen serves a variety of traditional Ethiopian dishes from sambusa to beyaynetu. The restaurant is located at 656 North Salina St. and is open every day of the week, except Monday. As Habiba says, come in for a sense of community and lots of laughter.