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Habiba's Story

Cooking for the love of food, culture and family.

Cooking in my family is passed down like a happy memory, from mother to daughter. From Ethiopia to Syracuse, my mother has given me a beautiful culture and a family recipe of love.

From Habiba’s Hotel to Habiba’s Kitchen


Family Owned
From Ethiopia to Syracuse

Mama Fatuma

Habiba Boru
Executive Chef

Hussein Mumin
Sous Chef

Syracuse Ethiopian Cafe for 1 Night

Syracuse and My Lucky Tummy

Habiba’s Ethiopian Kitchen to Open

Local Ethiopian Chef Shares Her Love of Food

Opening Day for Habiba’s Ethiopian Kitchen

My name is Habiba Boru, it means the beloved one, and I am an Ethiopian Chef who has found a home and a community in Syracuse. Although, my name means beloved one, life showed me that no matter how foreign or alone I felt, I was surrounded by amazing people who gave me so much love no matter life’s circumstance.

Kakuma Refugee Camp
At 4 years old, my family left Ethiopia due to war. Me and my siblings were separated and suddenly I became an only child. I learned adult responsibilities at an early age, care-taking for seniors and children in one of the largest refugee camps in Kenya for 10 years. In camp, I watched my mother cook to support our family. She sold meals out of a small hut built out of mud and sticks—she called it Habiba’s Hotel. She inspired me the way young girls are inspired by heroines. Her cooking created joy, laughter, community and opportunities. It was in that camp and through those moments I saw and felt the desire to do the same.

Injera and Misir
I remember being 7 years old and showing my mother that I could cook alongside her. I absolutely loved cooking injera and misir. The reason being that my parents didn’t have enough money to buy us meat everyday so my mother would make the best lentils in the world. I could eat her lentils for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! She made it with so much love that I’m reminded of her each time I eat lentils hence they’ve become a signature dish. My mother is an angel and even now she is my best friend. No matter the distance, our experiences together have brought us to this day. From Ethiopia to Syracuse and from Habiba’s Hotel to Habiba’s Ethiopian Kitchen, we cook for our families, bringing people together around food, culture and ultimately love.

Mama Fatuma

MaMa Fatuma

Chef, Habiba’s Hotel

Habiba Boru achieved balance with many hats she wears – she is a mother, a wife, a teacher, and now a freshmen in Syracuse University. Produced by Yufei Wu for TheNewsHouse.com