Simo Abbari, the owner of Simo’s International Cuisine in Christchurch, has looked adversity in the face and continued striving. The Moroccan-born chef lost his business partner in the Christchurch shooting, with two of his chefs being shot and injured, as well. Abbari moved to Christchurch around 25 years ago and has continued to keep his door open despite the catastrophic events of March 15th.
“First we thought, let’s shut the doors. Then I realised that people want to come in, so I said to the team we are going to stay open because the kitchen is the heart of the society.” Abbari emphasised his desire for people to continue connecting and developing community. On top of continuing operations, Abbari also worked tirelessly to provide food to be taken to the hospital. Abbari has also since been allowed to cater for Eid, the post-Ramadan celebration. “We just have to move on and carry on with our lives and spread the love. The focus now, find a better way to live and love each other and live together as New Zealanders.”