Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Around Town
FresYes Fest Is Saturday: This Immigrant Is Living the American Dream With Xtreme Shawarma
gvw_david_taub
By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 4 weeks ago on
March 18, 2024
Play Video

Share

FresYes is Saturday, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m., in downtown Fresno.

The free event features food, music, and vendors.

Palestinian immigrant Ahmad Hussein will be at his Xtreme Shawarma food truck.


Ahmad Hussein is finding his American Dream inside his food truck.

A Palestinian from Jordan, Hussein moved to Fresno seven years ago seeking a better life. He is finding it by serving a food he loves, the Middle Eastern treat shawarma.

“The only work that I got it was in a Mediterranean restaurant. I like working in a restaurant and making food for people, especially when you make something good and the people love it … It’s like an art you do here … Why do I work for people? I’m going to open something for myself, and I work for myself,” Hussein said.

Hussein and  his Xtreme Shawarma food truck will be at the FresYes Fest in downtown Fresno this Saturday.

Hussein actually returned to Jordan to learn the finer art of shawarma and Mediterranean cooking. He started his food truck in 2022, seeing an opening in the market for his specialty food.

“I got the original way. I got the original spices. I bring all my spices from back home. I got the real one. And I make the thing that I love to eat. I don’t serve anything to the customer that I don’t like to eat by myself. So let’s say it didn’t look nice. I don’t serve it to a customer,” Hussein said.

How does Hussein describe shawarma?

“Shawarma are the spices that you mix with the chicken and beef. The original way how we used to do is to put the shawarma and the beef on the skewer. You slice it really thin,” Hussein said.

Learning English was the hardest part, Hussein said. His wife, Tala Aljaiosy, helps him in the truck. His goal is to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

He said owning a food truck is less risk than playing the stock market.

“I can sell the truck and get my money back,” Hussein said.

The chicken and beef combo from Xtreme Shawarma. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

About FresYes

FresYes returns to downtown Fresno on Saturday, from 1 p.m. until 11 p.m. It is five blocks of music, food trucks, artists and fun. Admission is free. Last year, more than 25,000 people attended.

Most of the activity will run along Fulton Street, between Tulare and Ventura streets. The event features five stages for music, 50 food vendors, and a family zone inside Chukchansi Park.

“We’re hoping for more people. We’re really excited to showcase downtown again, encourage people to go into the retail shops that we have down here,” said Madison Beard, event coordinator for Tioga Sequoia Brewing Company.

FresYes map (FresYes)

Former Bitwise Employee Pursues Lipstick Passion

Bianca Camara already was selling lipstick and cosmetics, a side hustle from her job at Bitwise Industries. She started Lips by BB in March 2020, right before COVID hit.

“It was like a passion project that turned into a business that I love now,” Camara said. “I always carry lip cosmetics in my bag, and so I was like, you know what? Let me see how people make these. Maybe I could do it myself. And a couple months later, I was formulating my own.”

She will be one of 110 makers and vendors at FresYes.

 

Lips by BB is an online store selling hand-made “vegan and cruelty free lip cosmetics,” Camara said.

Born and raised in Fresno, Camara said no one else was making and selling local lipstick. She makes them in a home lab.

“You don’t see a lot of smaller vendors doing that. Usually you see them doing some free packaging with other vendors. So I take pride in handmaking and mixing all of my own cosmetic products,” Camara said.

Camara worked at Bitwise as an event marketing manager. She had a positive experience with her employer, despite the company’s June 2023 bankruptcy and laying off of its employees.

“With that transition over to the next steps for me, I kind of leaned on my small business, which was so huge and vital, which actually helped me grow it more and something that I really am looking to pursue,” Camara said.

 

 

Bianca Camara will be selling Lips by BB at FresYes this Saturday. (GV Wire/David Taub)

FresYes Fest Welcomes Cosmic Munchies

FresYes Fest Welcomes Mimi Made This

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

DON'T MISS

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

DON'T MISS

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

DON'T MISS

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

DON'T MISS

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

DON'T MISS

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

DON'T MISS

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

DON'T MISS

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

DON'T MISS

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

DON'T MISS

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

UP NEXT

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

UP NEXT

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

UP NEXT

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

UP NEXT

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

UP NEXT

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

UP NEXT

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

UP NEXT

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

UP NEXT

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

UP NEXT

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

9 hours ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /

9 hours ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

Local Education /

9 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

10 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

10 hours ago

Acquisition of Historic Fresno Real Estate Brand Creates Area’s Largest Brokerage

Breaking News /

10 hours ago

Wall Street’s Mixed Trading Day

10 hours ago

It’s ‘Signing Day’ for These Clovis Unified Youngsters

Local Education /

10 hours ago

Clovis Armed Robbery and Pursuit Result in 3 Arrests, 1 Suspect Still at Large

11 hours ago

Charges Against Trump and Jan. 6 Rioters at Stake as Supreme Court Hears Debate Over Obstruction Law

11 hours ago

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

NEW YORK — Whitey Herzog, the gruff and ingenious Hall of Fame manager who guided the St. Louis Cardinals to three pennants and a World Seri...

4 hours ago

4 hours ago

Whitey Herzog, Hall of Fame Manager Who Led Cardinals to 1980s Success, Dies at 92

4 hours ago

Coalinga-Huron Teachers Say They’ll Strike Unless a Fair Contract Is Offered

7 hours ago

Coalition: CA Lawmakers Need to Roll Back Proposed ‘Utility Tax’

9 hours ago

CA’s High Construction Costs Limit Housing. A Supreme Court Decision Might Help

Local Education /
9 hours ago

Now’s the Time to Register for FUSD’s Free Preschool and T-K

Local Education /
9 hours ago

‘Hopeville’ Literacy Documentary Showing Tonight at Roosevelt High

10 hours ago

Michigan Faces Probation for Football Recruiting Violations; Case vs. Jim Harbaugh Pending

10 hours ago

What Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse Can Tell Us About the Public Domain and Remix Culture

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend