Syrian refugee's falafel shop offering free food to people impacted by government shutdown

A Syrian refugee is offering free food to anyone impacted by the government shutdown at his Tennessee falafel shop. 

Yassin Terou, the owner of Yassin’s Falafel House in Knoxville, Tenn., told ABC News's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday that his restaurant made the decision in order to help the surrounding community. 

“It’s important for me [to provide free meals] because these guys are our brothers and sisters, and they already did the work, and they aren’t getting paid,” Terou said. “For someone like me who is living the American dream in the American land ... I believe every hard worker should reach his goal and have a good level of life.”


Terou's restaurant announced that it would provide free food to those affected by the shutdown earlier this week, saying in a Facebook post that "we are more than happy to serve them because they [have] been serving us all [these] days and we are not going to [leave] them alone.

"Anyone from the federal government employees who has been affected are welcome to come enjoy a free meal at our stores for them and their kids," the post said, adding that employees simply need to show their employee ID to received the service. 

Terou, who immigrated to the U.S. from Syria in 2011, told ABC that about 10 people have taken advantage of the service so far. 

The government shutdown, which was triggered on Dec. 22 after Democratic and Republican lawmakers failed to come to an agreement on a new congressional spending bill, entered its 26th day on Wednesday, making it the longest in U.S. history. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Gosar's siblings pen op-ed urging for his resignation: 'You are immune to shame' Sunday shows - Delta variant, infrastructure dominate MORE has demanded that funding for a wall along the southern border be included in any spending package, which Democrats oppose. 

Terou opened his restaurant in downtown Knoxville in 2014 and has received widespread praise since. His shop was named the Reader's Digest's "Nicest Place in America" last October.