Ruhel Islam

From: Sylhet, Bangladesh  Current City: Minneapolis, MN
"I gave up a lot of things to come to the United States: my family, my friends, my chickens. After arriving, I remember talking to my father and him telling me I shouldn’t come back. I would never get to see him again."
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Upon the request of his sister, who was moving to the U.S. with her American-businessman husband, and due to the hostile political climate of his home country, Mr. Islam left Bangladesh for the U.S. in 1996.

The fourth of seven children, he moved from his rural, childhood village of Sylhet to a larger urban area in pursuit of a college degree in commerce and accounting. Upon the completion of his degree and while still in Bangladesh, he started a farm – growing it from just two chickens to over two thousand.

Bringing his resourcefulness and self-reliance to the U.S., Ruhel opened his own restaurant: The Ghandi Mahal. His restaurant’s menu is comprised solely of ingredients grown in his community gardens or purchased locally, demonstrating his commitment to environmentalism and sustainability.

Mr. Islam is also active in the local community. He was recently invited to visit the White House, meeting with the President and other senior staff members to both recognize his outstanding contributions as well as to engage in roundtable discussions regarding small business job creation. He lives in Minneapolis, MN and is happily married with three daughters.

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