Izzeddeen 'Izz' and Eman Alkarajeh, the well-known duo behind Izz cafe on Georges Quay in Cork City, are donating 500 masks to the public as businesses expect to reopen before Christmas.
The Palestinian/Jordanian couple said the masks were an effort to help the public in difficult times as a small gesture to the city they say has welcomed them with open arms.
“We are aware many people's pockets are hurting this time of year, with the reopening of businesses in December and Christmas approaching we hope that our masks can give people a sense of security as well as being one less thing to purchase," said Izzeddeen Alkarajeh.
"Cork has welcomed us with open arms, this is a small token of our appreciation. When we first moved here it was the small things that mattered the most to us,” he said.
The masks are well made with three layers of material to ensure good protection and come in a variety of patterns. They are available from the cafe from today or online at the cafe's website along with their traditional coffee and copper pots.
The couple were granted political asylum after spending time in the direct provision system in Ireland. Eman and her husband were recently awarded the Cork Persons of the Month award and were praised by the award's organisers for their achievements overcoming huge odds after moving to a new country, learning a new language, and building a new life and successful business.
Their food and restaurant business, which serves traditional Palestinian cuisine, is now being celebrated by Cork’s top foodies as well as national food critics.