Abdulsalam Abujebel arrived in New York in 2004 as a refugee from Ethiopia., Diagnosed with diabetes, he sought out healthy food options and struggled to find them in Harlem, his new neighborhood. He began making nutritious meals at home, but wanted to share them with his new community. That initial impulse to share his new skills and make healthy food more accessible was the start of Oasis Juice bar. Shortly after, Abdi was able to open a second outlet a dozen blocks uptown. Yet while Oasis was a source of nourishment for some, others still could not afford the healthy food that Oasis was providing.
In a conversation with one of his customers, Dana Sprung, and another with Nick Ogutu - both students at Columbia University - Abdi thought about ways in which he could pursue his mission to make good food, health education, and fitness accessible to his community. The three of them met many times per week for several months and together, they imagined a community center where people from the neighborhood could come to eat well, learn new skills, and get to know one another. Abdi found an empty space next to his shop and renovated it. Anne-Laure White joined the team to help out with creating a website and developing an accessible online platform. Oasis powerhouse was born – a community space to empower the people.
Construction begins in the Oasis Powerhouse space. Abdi stripped the walls and cleaned up the place, installing mirrors, wood panels, and bookshelves!
Serving up lunch at Oasis Jimma Juice Bar on October 29, 2017 to celebrate the pre-launch of Oasis Powerhouse with the community.