Hadaya Benefit Dinner 6/29


Local restaurants Chai Pani and Gypsy Queen come together to prepare a Persian feast to help fund Asheville-based Hadaya Toys' next trip abroad to Mumbai, India, to help bring joy, love, and resources to children of the community of Dharavi. 

Jennifer MacDonald and Vanessa Bell co-founded HADAYA TOYS, a grass-roots organization based in Asheville, NC, as a way to bring joy to displaced refugee children worldwide. Their organization provides toys, books, and art supplies to this very vulnerable population of children in hopes that this “lost generation” will be able to have as many of the same opportunities as other children during this time of distress and turmoil.

MacDonald and Bell have personally raised thousands of dollars in donations to communities in need worldwide and then gone on to personally deliver her contributions to these communities to ensure they end up in the right hands. For their next trip MacDonald plans to visit and donate to a girls community center in the vast slum community of Dharvi in Mumbai, India this coming July.

At the beginning of the dinner, MacDonald will talk about Hadaya, her work as the owner and primary baker at Habibi Baklava, and her experiences working with refugees. In the US, she is a teacher as well, lecturing about the culture and history of the Middle East. She has even started the first basic Arabic program for high school students.

To help fund Hadaya’s upcoming trip, Chai Pani and Gypsy Queen Cuisine have decided to join forces to prepare a Persian and Middle Eastern influenced feast. MG Road is excited to host Meherwan Irani, James Grogan, and Suzy Phillips for the occasion. Meherwan Irani’s Parsi background (an ethnic group of India that is Iranian by descent) has had a great influence on his culinary style. Meherwan is joined by his chef de cuisine and partner in the kitchen James Grogan. Along with Suzy Phillips' rich knowledge of Middle Eastern food, this is sure to be a very memorable evening.