Coffee plays an inherently important part in 32-year-old Marsim Mohammed’s life.

Born near Aleppo, Syria, where some of the oldest coffee houses in history were built, Marsim is rebuilding her life and finding her way back home one cup of coffee at a time.

Since her family fled Syria in 2013, Marsim has assumed the responsibility of looking after her mother, sister Amira, and her brothers – who both have disabilities.

Through Big Sis, an initiative by our partners at Ethni, the sisters have found reprieve from carrying the load on their own. Marsim found a mentor in Nas, who regularly meets with her and encourages her to step out of her comfort zone.

“When we go out walking, we order coffee. I [didn’t] know how to order coffee. So, first I was like [panicing]. But next time, she said ’You can order for yourself.’ It’s different now. I can do it perfectly. I just do it,” Marsim shared.

This skill came in handy when Marsim started her barista training at Multicultural Australia’s Welcome Café. The guidance she received from Nas helped her appreciate coffee culture in a different way, along with the experience of seeing how coffee can connect people through the eyes of the one who makes it.

Marsim is thankful for the care she has received from Multicultural Australia. She hopes more families can receive the same support.

“It is important. We are the children, but we also are the mums. I can’t imagine my life without [my family], even if it’s hard.”

Connecting Over Coffee