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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Ali Momani

Community Butcher

Ali Momani, born in 1971, is originally from Jordan. In 2018, he opened Community Butcher in Lowell, Arkansas. Momani relies upon farmers and meat processors in northwest Arkansas to provide locally grown halal meat and provides a local source of goat and lamb for Muslim consumers in the area. He works with a farmer in Centerton to supply lamb, goat, and chickens, and he uses a meat processing plant in Winslow, Arkansas. Many Indian restaurants buy halal goat and lamb from Momani. He also butchers meat to order for individual customers.

Momani attended culinary school in Jordan’s capital city of Amman, where he learned to cook dishes like maqluba, kabsa, and mansaf. In 1995, he came to Dallas to visit and decided to stay. In Dallas, he managed several restaurants, but when his wife landed a job with Walmart in 2004, they moved to northwest Arkansas. After a brief move to Miami, they returned to northwest Arkansas in 2010.

In 2019, Community Butcher moved to 2410 S.W. 14th Street, Bentonville, Arkansas. The Lowell location is closed.

Date of interview:

Annemarie Anderson

Brian Chilson

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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