Tahini Factory and Shop
We're celebrating the opening of a Tahini factory in the Assyrian-majority Christian town of Bartella. The factory provides jobs for 6 young people from different ethno-religious backgrounds. We want to thank The Highway One Trust for funding this project with Mosaic Middle East. We also wish to thank our implementing partners and local NGO, Friends of Youth Forum.
6 young people
gain employment
direct project costs
December 2021
project completed
Thank you to all the Mosaic Middle East contributors and the Highway One Trust who made this project possible.
*These figures exclude the costs of management, monitoring and evaluation carried out in Iraq by Mosaic Middle East. They also exclude the UK office costs.
In the town of Bartella, just 21km east of Mosul, tahini (a Middle Eastern sesame paste that makes Hummus taste amazing) is one of the main food products, with recipes passed down from generation to generation.
When ISIS controlled the region, they burned and looted the factory, equipment and machines. ISIS targeted Christians and the Kurds, killing and kidnapping, and destroying property. 
Those able to return have struggled to start again. With no government assistance and without the financial means to rebuild factories, businesses and farms, the future has looked uncertain.
Now fully restored and open for business, this venture has provided jobs both in the small factory shop, and in selling this product more widely to businesses and other markets outside the village. We have seen first hand the difference this project has made to the owners, those they can now employ, their families and the villages they live and trade in.
The Project

The project was to restore this small Tahini factory and shop in Bartella. It would once again provide jobs for local people (many of the young people here struggle to find work). The project replaced the equipment looted and destroyed by ISIS' systematic destruction of non-Muslim people's belongings, which included this mostly Christian village.

This project is part of our programme designed to support local business and employment, in this case the focus is Bartella- Nineveh Plain. Bartella is located in the Nineveh Plain in the northern Iraq about 21 km east of Mosul. In the early August 2014, Bartella was overrun by ISIS Islamic extremists. The Christian population of the town fled, mostly to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, joining thousands of other Iraqi Christians fleeing ISIS terror. Then, Bartella was liberated from ISIS control on 20 October 2016.

Once ISIS was defeated, the people of this region have gradually returned and have started to build their lives and to re-establish their small businesses.

During the course of communication and field visits with the stakeholders and local people, the 'Rashi' factory was selected. Friends of Youth Forum coordinated and worked closely with the factory staff to install and equip the factory. As our implementing partner, they draw on already established connections with different stakeholders in the region and determine the factories which need more development or need re-establishment. Through our team on the ground in Erbil, this project has been overseen and delivered on time.

  • To create six new job opportunities for young people
  • Build livelihoods for the returning families
  • More locally produced food to benefit the local economy
  • Local people are encouraged to stay in the Nineveh Plain
take action
Can you help our Nineveh SEED appeal?