The pop-up shop of Global Market at CityScape located in central Phoenix sells handmade goods crafted by 23 female refugees from diverse countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. The shop retails artwork and baked goods. Lining the racks are photography prints. All sales proceeds go to the refugee vendors. The list of fast-moving products inside the store include the henna tattoos and organic soaps. Alyaa Al-Maadeed helped plan this program. She is a graduate student engaged in the study of social work. The store popped up in the first week of February, Al-Maadeed said the store will be in that location for a month. Global Market has inked a partnership with American Muslim Women's Association of Arizona (AMWA) to put the latter's items in the store. The products were crafted through the Women's Association for the Sewing for Success scheme.
Learning curve for refugees
Al-Maadeed said that everyone was extremely proud when the store opened. She pointed out, however, that real success is measured in what the individual refugee learns and the way they get integrated into the community. The AMWA is listed as a charitable organization and a non-profit one in Arizona. The organization helps to form families through women empowerment like job assistance, mentoring, and education.
An aspiring businesswoman is Dawlat Alrifai, a refugee working at the Global Market. She is in charge of the section named “Syrian Sweets Exchange”. She came to the United States from Syria about 18 months back. She said she loves the United States- a country where she can meet people from all over the world. She is happy to be exposed to different cultures and different languages.
Al-Maadeed said the project idea came up in August 2017. She had earlier listened to the Office of Global Social Work by the ASU and the Phoenix's Vice-Mayor having brainstormed into opening up a store created by refugees. The idea also included working with ethnic community organizations.
The excellent location of Global Market in downtown Phoenix offered the women there with an ability to foster business connections outside their personal communities. They found themselves to break out of their comfort zones. Many women refugees have admitted that they meet people in this area with whom they have no chance of meeting elsewhere. They are extremely happy when a customer from a completely different culture comes back for more.