Sweet treat helps raise awareness for refugees

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. (WTEN) – A local ice cream company trying to make a difference in the lives of Syrian refugees one pint at a time.

When Paul Nasrani set out to make a Syrian influenced ice cream, he says it wasn’t a political statement

“My political statement really is to remind us what the United States is about and remind us that some people who may appear different really aren’t that different from us. Hopefully, people will remember that and enjoy ice cream at the same time,” Nasrani, founder of the Adirondack Creamery, said.

So why the Syrian influence? A child of immigrants himself, Nasrani says he felt compelled to make a difference in the lives of Syrian refugees.

“They’re trying to escape a horrible situation to make their lives better, and I thought you know, that’s sort of what the country is about. So I tried to reflect on that and I couldn’t really come up with a way to do it. I’m not a politician, I’m not a millionaire or anything like that but I make ice cream.”

So Nasrani decided 50 percent of the profits from the ice cream will go to the International Rescue Committee to help refugees and the immigrant community that he has come to know well.

“I met this couple in Brooklyn they’re Syrian refugees. They lost their bakery so they started selling their baked products online. So I bought all of them and tried them. And one, in particular, maamoul is a date and walnut pastry and then it clicked. Like that’s what I wanted to do.”

Nasrani spent about a year developing the maamoul flavor and creating a package that would drive home his message of inclusion.

What he came up with was a design that displays the word “peace” in Arabic, Hebrew, and English because Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are some of the major religions practiced in Syria.

“Food also has the real power to remind us all that there’s much more that unites us than separates us.”

Nasrani says the ice cream will be available in more stores like ShopRite and Whole Foods soon, but of course, you can pick up a Pint of Peace at the Niskayuna Coop any time.

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