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St. George Melkite Greek-Catholic Church
Norma Ajlouny, born in 1953, grew up in the Southside neighborhood of Birmingham, Alabama. As a child she attended St. Elias Catholic Church with her family. Her mother was the cook in the family. Often extended family gathered at their house to make baklawa and kibbee and enjoy meals together.
Ajlouny married her high school sweetheart Naseem Ajlouny in 1974. They began attending St. George’s Melkite Greek Catholic Church. Her husband went into the grocery store business, and they are owners of thirteen Piggly-Wiggly stores in the Birmingham area. When another member of the St. George congregation had the idea to start the Middle Eastern Food Festival, she came to Ajlouny to ask her to co-chair it. She has been in charge of ordering all the food for the festival since it began in 1981.