Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

This Syrian refugee used a family heirloom to build a thriving cookie business

For one refugee, a family heirloom proved the key to the American Dream. Ruwaida G. fled Syria with her family in 2012, eventually settling in Georgia. She wasn't able to pack many belongings, but made sure to keep her mother's wooden cookie mold. Once settled, she began baking again, and her Syrian treats won over cookie-­loving local volunteers. Together, they launched Sweet, Sweet Syria — a growing cookie business that Ruwaida hopes will provide for her family for years to come. Ruwaida learned the recipe from her mother. In turn, she says, it could "help our children succeed in their life."