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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 annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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ORAL HISTORY

Esmail Algahdari


Queen of Sheba

Esmail Algahdari was born in Sanaa, Yemen in 1992. Restaurants are a family affair for Algahdari. He learned to cook from his father and brother in his family’s restaurant in Yemen. He migrated to New York in 2015 and soon after, he moved to Memphis. He is co-owner of Queen of Sheba, a Yemeni restaurant which opened in 2016. He also cooks much of the food served in the restaurant. Queen of Sheba serves traditional Yemeni food, including dishes like lamb haneeth, saltah, and arikah.

Date of interview:
2021-07-27

Interviewer:
Simone Delerme and Kelly Spivey

Photographer:
Houston Cofield

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