Bringing a bit of east to the west
NEWLY graduated University of Southern Queensland student Moyassar Al-Taie is part of the happy new face of Toowoomba.
The Garden City is welcoming more and more people of diverse backgrounds, cultures and origins making for an interesting mix which can only be good for a maturing modern city.
Hailing from Iraq, Mr Al-Taie and his family have lived in Toowoomba for six years now and they like what they see.
"All the children are very happy in schools here," Mr Al-Taie said.
"We live in Darling Heights and it has a lovely mixture of different peoples and cultures.
"Toowoomba is a beautiful place and I like the gardens and the parks.
"And, it's very cheap to live here."
An executive committee member of the Islamic Society of Toowoomba, Mr Al-Taie, who has permanent residency in Australia, spends much of his time helping other new Australians settle into life in Toowoomba.
"The people here are very friendly and the majority of Toowoomba people believe in multiculturalism which is good," he said.
Mr Al-Taie has just completed a degree in business information systems and is now looking for work in that field in the Darling Downs region.
"It would be good if there was some (government) financial support to help migrants start up and run a business in Toowoomba," he suggested.
Mr Al-Taie said his family might even look to opening an Iraqi-style restaurant in Toowoomba, a first for the Garden City.
"My wife is a good cook and we make authentic Middle Eastern food," he said.
"She makes food for people at home, but it might be good to open a restaurant."
His family had a food stall "Arabian Nights" at the International Food Festival at the USQ on Sunday and this reporter can attest to quality of the cuisine on offer from Mr Al-Taie's family.
"It is traditional Iraqi food with two different types of rice with two different soups, one beef and one chicken. We had Iraqi sweets too but they sold out."