A multi-million dollar start-up nominated for 2022’s Top 100 Muslim start-ups by The Center for Global Muslim Life has the words “Success goes hand in hand with serving our community and serving the world” inscribed on their webpage. Come along to learn more…

PaliRoots was set up by a brother-sister duo, Hussein and Aminah Musa, in 2016. As children, they were part of the medical food program a d m i n i s t e r e d by their school since they hailed from a low-income family. Their grandfather, Sidi Hussein, instilled Palestine’s roots, culture, and love in the siblings’ hearts to preserve the beauty of the Palestinian culture amongst future generations. Constant reminders to the siblings about their opportunities in this beautiful country to do what they want, make a positive impact, and help back home were firmly cemented. PaliRoots was created to humanize the Palestinian people and offer people a platform to learn about the unique and beautiful Palestinian history, culture, and heritage.

PaliRoots, owned by the two Palestinian Americans, started its journey in San Diego and has recently expanded to Los Angeles. Hussein is the company’s CEO tasked with overlooking finance, innovation, and website development, in other words, the day-to-day operations. Aminah is the CCO (Chief Creative Officer) tasked with making all the fantastic designs, clothing, and accessories you can see on their website. She ensures that every product created is specially crafted with a meaningful story based on months of research and development. In addition, Aminah is the face and spokeswoman of the company, who graced the Top 40 women of the year accolade from Forbes Middle East.

What started as a little t-shirt line that sold t-shirts and brought attention to Palestine through their social media impact, has become a massive movement for all ethnicities to be a part of. Several factors contributed to this:

1• The product line, be it t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, or hoodies, is made with the softest cotton, trademarked as “zibda soft” or “butter soft.”

2• After conducting months of research with 501c3 non-profit partners MECA (who work on the ground in Gaza), on the topic of food and nutrient deficiency in some of the poorest areas of the Gaza Strip, the results showed that many children in Gaza are malnourished, suffer from growth problems, anemia, stunting, and have severe issues with their diet. With the population of Gaza reaching close to 2 million and over 50% under the age of 18, it was the duo’s duty to help ease the living situation due to the ongoing siege in Gaza. Their work primarily focuses on children as they believe they are the future hope for Palestine. PaliRoots launched its signature program, a meals program that would nurture children and support families simultaneously. They implemented 22 campaigns since the brand’s launch, where they raised funds to feed children at their schools. Meals are also donated to children based on the order value. For example, if you spend US$ 100 at PaliRoots, five meals are offered to children in Gaza. In May 2021, they raised over 2 million dollars which helped expand the meal program ensuring funding for up to 4 years for over 861 kindergartners and 25 teachers. To date, PaliRoots have partnered with 7 organizations to raise and donate a total of US$ 3.2 million in the last 5 years.

3• A broad customer base from 16-year-olds to 55-yearolds loves the products, be it Palestinians, Arabs, or Muslims in general. A solid Jewish community supports PaliRoots as well. This may sound surprising, but this is a perfect moment to learn about the difference between Judaism and Zionism. The PaliRoots brand is associated with a cause. Those who support Palestine have been able to get an outlet to express their support by purchasing from PaliRoots, ranging from the youngsters at the Universities who want to represent Palestine on their campuses to the elders who want to instill the passion and love for Palestine in the minds and hearts of their little ones, thereby, preserving the Palestinian identity.

4• A staple piece that every Pro-Palestinian purchases from PaliRoots is the infamous Palestinian Hirbawi Kufiya made in non other than Al-Khalil, Palestine. Keeping tradition alive, the Hirbawi Kufiya is the only kufiya to be authentically made in Palestine. The Hirbawi factory is more than a place of production: it is a symbol of resilience, resistance, and strength in the face of overwhelming odds. It is a place to celebrate the Palestinian culture authentically, and a reminder as to the need of supporting domestic economies whenever possible. Passion and perseverance are sewn into every thread of each Hirbawi Kufiya. If you don’t own an AUTHENTIC Palestinian kufiya, PaliRoots is the source to trust.

5• The younger generation is always open to new ideas, and they challenge the status quo. More and more people are learning about the Palestinian people, and they have started to sympathize with them as Palestinians represent the largest refugee population in the world. People worldwide are attempting to support and uplift the Palestinian cause, which is why you see people from all walks of life showing some love to the Palestinian people. Enter the PaliRooter movement... A PaliRooter is a person who roots for Palestine. A PaliRooter could be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, trade worker, union worker, influencer, or all different kinds of people united with a mission to uplift Palestine. The PaliRooter community accepts everyone for who they are. They have an open mind and stress the importance of love, unity, and family because these are the things that give us purpose in life. A PaliRooter is someone who respects others’ rights to be a human and says no to seeing people being oppressed. This PaliRooter movement has increased the visibility of the PaliRoots brand because ordinary people are promoting PaliRoots. They love the product and tell their followers or friends to show some love too.

One piece of the puzzle that keeps PaliRoots growing, is their diverse family-oriented team. A team made up of different backgrounds & ethnicities on a mission to preserve the Palestinian culture and identity. Their CMO Zenah is Palestinian-Jordanian, and their Lead Project Manager Cokab is Lebanese-Palestinian. The extended Marketing team has its origins in Greece. Their designers and photographers are from Brazil, Puerto Rico, India, Pakistan, and many other countries around the globe. To develop a brand made up of Palestinians on a mission is an accomplishment by itself but to have a brand made up of diverse ethnicities on a mission to preserve the Palestinian culture & identity is clearly a movement.

Hussein and Aminah traveled in 2018 to Jericho, Turmusaya, Nablus, Bethlehem, and Al Khalil. They documented their travels in the Palestine Travel Series uploaded on their youtube channel.

Hussein’s advice for other start-ups is to be genuine, show that you care, and be ethical. Your passion will ignite the fire that is inside of you to be that extra person wanting to change the world.

During the interview, their gratitude and thankfulness for being in the Top 100 Muslim start-ups were evident, and they were humble, too; crediting everything to the power of God, their hardworking team, and the PaliRooter community, we found them inspirational.

What can you do to help them with this mission? They are open to collaborations with brands/companies in the “change making space!” You can follow them and interact on social media to meet new people and begin everlasting friendships. You can be a PaliRooter without buying any merchandise; it is all optional. The inventory is there to help present Palestine uniquely and beautifully. You can directly donate to the meal program or become a monthly donor. Every penny raised doesn’t even go to PaliRoots’ bank account. It goes immediately to the non-profit.

Raised by two Palestinian parents, Hussein and Aminah; Palestinians of the diaspora, whose true goal and mission is to further their impact in Palestine for generations to come. Needless to say that their mission is not yet complete, as the movement to a FREE PALESTINE continues. Wishing them all the very best in their future endeavors, we conclude by saying that in this issue of Battuta, PaliRoots stole our hearts!


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