MREIn the United States, a Moroccan realizes his American...

In the United States, a Moroccan realizes his American dream


Otmane Benjilany is a Moroccan who settled in eastern Iowa, United States 15 years ago. He was able to fulfill his dream of owning a restaurant.

From an employee to an American hot dog cart operator, Otmane Benjilany became a restaurant owner. The adventure began 15 years ago. This Moroccan left Morocco for the United States. He settled in eastern Iowa. In 2009, he was working full time in a factory, and was an American hot dog cart operator on weekends.

Otmane sold Moroccan kebabs in downtown Cedar Rapids for years before turning his business into a food truck in 2015, reports Since then, the company has operated from a 14 × 7 trailer, with four people working inside on busy days. Over the years, the business has flourished. “Now we have like 2,400 square feet (222m²), so a lot of magic is going to happen here,” he says.

Otmane will be opening the first O’s Grill specializing in gyros at 3911 Center Point Road NE in Cedar Rapids on Halloween. A dream long cherished by the one who arrived in the United States and could only pronounce two words in English namely: thank you and hello. “I feel like I’m very lucky and I’ve always heard of the ‘American dream’, I didn’t know what it was, now I feel it and live it,” Otmane rejoices.

The Moroccan Blog
The Moroccan Blog
The Moroccan Blog is an English based newsblog dedicated to Morocco. You can find here all news from Morocco across a variety of topics: Arts & Culture, Economy & Business, Lifestyle, Moroccan Sahara, MRE, Society, Tourism & Travel and more.

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