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A Family Business: Eeso and Sons
Iraqi Family Utilizes Opening Doors' Special Loan Program for Refugees to Start Thriving Business
We pull up to a shop surrounded by car dealerships and mechanics near Marconi and Fulton. There's a simple sign hanging above the garage that reads "Fulton Car Detailing" and two phone numbers. Although it's a busy day at the shop, business owner Rabeea Lasoo gives us a warm welcome and a tour as Opening Doors Business Specialist Mohammed Mahmood translates.
I am introduced to Rabeea's father-in-law Sabri Eeso, who is cleaning the interior of a Mercedes SUV with a spray bottle and electric brush. Sabri's son-in-law, Ghazwan Iskander, is using a power washer to clean the wheels of a BMW while Sabri's son Layth is cleaning the interior of a Subaru. They are proud to show us how they have utilized their loan from Opening Doors to buy equipment and supplies. Having machinery like the power washer and being able to buy supplies in bulk saves them time and money.
This family had a successful car detailing business in Iraq and would also purchase cars from auction, fix them up and resell them. It was only a year ago when friends told them about Opening Doors' special loan program for refugees. They were confident they would be approved because of their business experience and complete business plan.
Fulton Car Detailing opened in February 2013 after they received a $4,000 two-year loan from Opening Doors. They are on track to pay off their loan in only one year and have applied for an additional loan to expand their business to buying and selling wholesale cars as they did in Iraq.
They all agree that owning a business here is more stable than it was in war-torn Iraq. "We never knew what might happen each day," says Ghazwan. Layth adds that the loan from Opening Doors has given them relief because they can depend on themselves rather than government aid. "It has given us control of our lives."
There are smiles on each of their faces as we leave them to their work. "We want to thank Opening Doors for the opportunity to open a business," Rabeea says. "It has made so much difference in our lives and we hope to continue with Opening Doors in the future."