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Kous Kous: A Moroccan Redemption!

 April 28, 2023 at 2:27 PM PDT

S1: Oh , you're not.

S2: Mandy , have you ever been involved with something , say , like a project or a business , and it's not going anywhere , but you still keep at it.


S2: Like a project that's not giving you the results you want , but you feel that you've already staked so much that you just can't quit. So you keep pouring more time or money into it. Ever had that ? No. Well , that's all for today , folks. Thank you. I'm Lily. This is Port of Entry , man.

S4: I'm kidding. Yes , of course. I mean , I've committed so much to your manners , but nothing.

S2: Oh , Miss Comedy walked into the nice guys.

S5: Can we stay in subject , please ? Alan , please. Let's get to the Seinfeld clip , please. Come on. Okay.

S2: Okay. There's a famous Seinfeld episode that gets to this. It's titled The Strike. And one of the subplots in this episode is that Elaine is trying to reach 24 purchase subs to get a free sub sandwich and a captain's hat. Let's take a listen.

S6: You've eaten 23 bad subs. I just need one more. It's like a long , bad movie. But you want to see the end of it ? No.

S7: You walk out.

S6: All right , then. It's like a boring book , but you got to finish it.

S7: No , you wait for the movie.

S6: I want that free.


S6: I have spent a lot of time and I have eaten a lot of crap to get to where I am today , and I am not throwing it all away. Correct.

S2: Correct. She puts up with buying the cheapest and nastiest subs to be able to get to that good , expensive one she wants , but she keeps losing the card that holds the stamps. And instead of quitting , she just starts over.

S4: You do ? I bet. Well , there is something to that. It's a bias that we humans have. And if I remember correctly , this bias is called the sunk cost fallacy , also referred to as the gambler's fallacy. Exactly.

S2: The fallacy is basically that we're unable to cut our losses because we're unable or unwilling to accept them. So we keep investing more money and time.

S4: Like throwing good money after bad.

S2: So there's a whole host of psychological factors like denial , pride , hope , guilt , reluctance that play into why you may not quit.

S4: Yeah , I think it happens to almost everyone at some point in their life. Right. And it happened to Moomin , the subject of today's episode.

S9: And I was a good client to to to chase to Wells Fargo. They gave me good loans , you know , But it was it was a kind of a trap , kind of that I knew was a trap. But almost like a drug addict. You're addicted. You don't have.

S2: Any luminary is a moroccan chef currently based in Vallejo. But a few years ago , he was running a restaurant in San Diego and he found himself in this predicament , throwing good money after bad choices.

S9: You think you don't have any other choices , so you keep borrowing in order to to keep surviving another year. But the reality is , if you're really a good business man or women , you have to know learn when to quit. And that's something that I kept refusing until , thank goodness , COVID came.

S4: Today's story is all about second chances. The genes and the state of mind we're calling migrant Mindset syndrome.

S2: Stay tuned. From KPBS and PRX. This is Port of Entry.

S4: Where we tell cross-border stories that connect us.

S2: I'm Ana Lilienthal.

S4: And I'm Natalie Gonzalez. From KPBS. You are listening to Port of Entry. Moments.

S10: Restaurant del Valle.

S4: Is a one hour and 30 minute drive from the border.

S2: The scenic route towards. And Sanada makes it a beautiful drive. The coastal highway runs along the cliffs with astounding views of the ocean. It really is one of my favorite drives ever.

S4: As we turn inland towards.

S2: Via the Guadalupe Wine country.

S4: Beautiful rolling vineyards stretch out in front of us.

S10: Del Valle sits.

S2: On a slight hill with a stunning panoramic view of the valley. It's an open air restaurant with the elements on full display. You can even hear the birds chirping , the wind rustling , the grape leaves of the vines that sit right in front of you. A soothing feeling is unavoidable.

S4: It's almost like we were at a spa.

S11: What a pleasure seeing you.

S2: Moment had us over for dinner. He was breaking his fast from Ramadan the month that Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Yep.

S12: Yep.

S13: Bring the cerveza tomorrow. Not today. Last day ? Yes. No , I was wrong. That's why.

S2: That's what made it extra special , was that it was actually the very last day of Ramadan , which made Moomin very excited.

S4: Moomin is a talented chef with a charming sense of humor and a keen sense of adventure. He wasn't shy to flex his Spanish , his.

S2: Fourth language and break.

S4: The ice.

S13: This is my chef , Ramon. Yes. Gracias.

S14: Gracias. It's La tradition.

S13: We start with milk and dates in Ramadan. The first thing you eat.

S9: Well , Ramadan is a is a muslim practice where you abstain from a lot of pleasures of life. From sunrise to sunset. As as a sign of submission to God , but also as a practice of meditation. Feeling hungry , Feeling what other people do feel the poor people. Food is the easy part. Believe it or not , the hard part is the spiritual and religious. You are supposed to not have bad thoughts , not say bad words. It's a lot of discipline. So you practice some good practices one month a year , then you ruin it for 11 months a year.

S4: Even though he was fasting at the time , he had a sober because of Ramadan. He's delightful accent and energetic personality lit up the whole place. He had us laughing throughout the whole evening.

S2: Oh , yeah. Charming. Delightful. That's a lot of adjectives. Coolio did mention you liked him.

S4: Like his. Food.

S15: Food.

S16: Oh , my God. Natalie is sitting in the tree.

S4: So stop it. Anyway , after the milk and dates , he started us off with a number of entries to share.

S9: This is for the adventurous , only its liver.

S2: The food was a visual spectacle. To say that the entrees were vibrant and colorful is an understatement. All the little side dishes were served in tiny clay pots.

S9: A little liver stew with garbanzo. This is marinated carrots and olives. We call it his Shamal Zeitoun. Thermal means marinated carrots and all this is the universal hummus , the garbanzo hummus and my hopes , which is pita. You call it Pita , but we call it hopes or arrive.

S2: As moment cracked. More jokes , more food kept coming in. The aromas took over the whole table. They were just heavenly.

S4: As you can imagine. Our producer Julio was very happy.

S9: Just little , little snacks to start to start with. The harissa hot sauce. Yes. You have to my harissa is actually doesn't discriminate too much , doesn't change the flavor. It just makes things spicier. It doesn't have too much vinegar or just make things. Give it a kick.

S13: Awesome You get your Natalie.

S2: Was schooled in proper North African etiquette as she started digging in using a fork and knife.

S9: Look , you're Mexican , right ? Yes. Don't eat like like a gringa.

S5: Got a. Piece.

S9: Piece.

S5: Got a piece.

S9: And that's I think take as much. That's a big chunk of the whole.

S5: Yes , I see.

S13: Thank you. I feel much better now. If they finish that , I'll bring you. No worries. No.

S17: No.

S2: And after being put on the spot , she got going with the questions.

S4: Tell me about your memories growing up in Morocco.

S9: Where was born in Marrakesh 500 years ago ? In the late , late , late 60s , in 1968.

S5: You're your moisturizing him because. Yeah , I know , I know. Yes.

S9: Yes. It's Moroccan food. My dad was a cop. My mom was a housewife. My mom was. As the wine.

S2: Kept flowing , at least.

S4: For us.

S2: He started opening up a bit more.

S9: It was it was like growing up in the early 80s. Once you start opening your eyes when you were exposed to certain things through the media , through TV , radio , music , movies , if , if , if you are a very curious person , person , you want those things , you know , then you try to reach to those things. You're no longer satisfied with what you have. You start looking for the other stuff.

S4: I began looking for that other stuff fueled by expectations from birth.

S9: That was my dad's fault , to be very ambitious. My dad wanted me to be a general. He named me after actually an Egyptian general that that's won. Some wars were against the Crusaders and stuff like that. Since you were a kid , like you're going to be a big guy , like somebody important.

S4: But he almost got cold feet.

S9: I became nervous because I was living everything , you know , a good job , family , friends , all my friends. You know , a lot of people think that everybody want to leave their country to go to America. And it's a tiny minority , tiny , teeny , tiny minority , at least in my experience in Morocco , my friends were like , Are you crazy , man ? You got everything here. You got us , you got your family. Why ? You know , I didn't know how to explain , but it start to sink in that I'm actually leaving more precious things to go to the unknown , you know , which was a frozen. And known in Cleveland , Ohio.

S4: Cleveland , Ohio.

S2: That's rough.

S9: You know , then then I went to got a job in Cleveland , Ohio. You know , started there and fought hard for my green card and papers.

S2: And he started his papers hustle , trying to find a way to secure his stay in the US legally.

S4: Here's where Migrant Mindset syndrome comes in.

S2: It is one key psychological factor that plays a central role in Bowman's story.

S4: If you're wondering what we mean by migrant mindset syndrome , it's a set of psychological pressures that show up in immigrants who recently migrate to a new country.

S2: Obviously , this is just a speculating , but we want to definitely highlight this phenomenon that shows up in many of our communities.

S4: If you're a part of a demographic with a lot of people who are mixed status , that.

S2: Is like family members whose immigrant status in this country is either temporary or undocumented.

S4: Like many in the Latino community , you are well acquainted with these psychological pressures.

S2: The first shows up as anxiety , not knowing if you'll be able to continue your stay. This anxiety weighs on you and is taxing.

S4: So moomins be Sisu. Well , there were two possible ways of dealing with it.

S9: I play that. I. I had an offer from the Moroccan gang in Florida.

S2: That's a group of friends from Morocco that had settled in Florida.

S9: Two to to hook me up with the with a girl to marry for money. Absolutely. I had that. But you pay her. Of course , that I considered that offer. And the other was get an attorney and get my employer to sponsor me for what's called labor certification. But it was going to cost me a lot more money. I ended up being the son of a cop of an honest cop.

S13: I ended up.

S9: You know , going for the the legal way. So I applied for labor certification. I paid an expensive Chinese lawyer. I remember she cost me $7,000 and we started the process. We started the process for for labor certification with the job offer. And during that process , for about a year and a half , I was in no man's land. I was legal to stay , but not , not not allowed to work , basically , you know , because I was waiting for a response for my process. During that time , year and a half later , I met my wife. So I met this lady , fell in love. We got married. Then I ended up canceling that whole previous process and started the due process with her. That sped up , made things much faster and easier. And I want my $7,000 back.

S13: I know the name of that attorney. Yeah.

S17: Yeah. So , no , of course not.

S2: So with 7000 less in his pocket.

S3: But with a beautiful bride.

S2: Moman eventually moved from Cleveland to California. Raising in California.

S5: Heads up Disneyland. We have a new neighbor. I'm here today to introduce you to a new California dream. What a sensational slice of God's good earth.

S4: He first settled in Carmel , but it was still too cold.

S2: So he made a run to the warmer climate in SoCal.

S4: Making a final move to San Diego.

S2: He loves San Diego and its weather. He dreamed about opening his first restaurant here.

S4: But he faced a significant challenge.

S9: Accepted me. You need to know that things were so different in 2004 when I was scouting for Space in San Diego. Commercial rents. The landlords were so spoiled , so spoiled that they don't accept anybody to take over a space jam.

S5: Just a few moments ago , something believed to be a plane crashed into the south tower.

S4: And yes , 911 had just happened.

S5: Breaking into Susan's report to give you breaking news from New York City , where planes , two planes have hit , both towers of the World Trade Center in.

UU: Lower Manhattan and the people who knocked these buildings down. Soon. Good afternoon.

S5: On my orders , the United States military has begun strikes against al Qaeda , terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq , to free its people , and to defend the world from grave danger.

S2: The US had an officially declared war on the Muslim world and eventually invaded Iraq in an effort to topple Saddam Hussein.

S9: I remember exactly 11 business plan to different landlords , including so many of them in East Village. At that time. They were just new buildings , East Village , and I gave my business plan and they all refused me.



S12: The spaces are open.

S5: Nobody's taking them. So.

S17: So. And you're getting.

S5: Money from the bank.

S12: So , yes , the worry is they're always going to have that supply of cash.

S9: So San Diego. Yes , there is. Look , San Diego is a small , big town. San Diego is quite conservative , socially speaking. San Diego is No , San Francisco is not New York. There is no the people running the shows in San Diego. They they don't differentiate between Morocco , Somalia , Lebanon and Iraq. You know , a lot of people , they're not well traveled after us being in war with the with the Muslim Arab world. You know , people thought they were at war against Morocco , too , because they thought Morocco were in the heart of the Middle East. You know , after our country , after years of propaganda against culture like mine. So I don't have any proof of prejudice or racism , but I'm just suspecting I , I reverse roles if I were them. With luck , with no education , no not enough open mindedness , I probably would be prejudiced against myself. So it's just some ignorance really.

S2: But he eventually was able to secure a space in a very vibrant neighborhood of San Diego , Hillcrest , famous for welcoming all walks of life.

S6: Colorful flags.

S5: Decorating the.

S3: San Diego skies for as far as the eye can see.

S5: When I turned.

S3: Around , when we were marching and it was just like a sea of people and I got a little choked up because it was just so beautiful that everyone is able to be out here and be free and be who they are.

S9: When I took over , that space was was trash was trash because my restaurant in San Diego was underground. And yeah , it was below street level. It was the only rent that I could afford in 2005. And the only rent , the only space , the only landlord that accepted me. This.

S2: This.

S4: According to Moomin.

S2: Is where his trouble started.

S9: I considered closing sooner. After the first year of opening my restaurants in San Diego. Well , no , not. But that thought comes to your head when you're beaten up for six months sometimes and you're you're desperate for money and you're you're draining your.

S4: There is his San Diego restaurant.

S2: The original couscous.

S4: Had its good moments , but the good moments were short lived due to all the financial , emotional , personal challenges that he faced.

S9: So couscous. I went through that cycle many times in 15 years , you know , ups and downs , ups and downs. Every time there is an app , you feel like The Lion King , you're doing great , you're happy. Then there is a crisis , either local or national or personal. Personal crises affect our businesses , family issues , sickness. All those things affect directly the productivity of of of your employees of yourself.

S2: And moment got caught in a toxic cycle fueled by the second symptom of migrant mindset syndrome , which is.

S4: Failure is not an option.

S2: Leaving everything behind and embarking on a journey to a better world means there are expectations awaiting back home.

S4: Expectations that are always just a phone call away.

S13: You know exactly what it is.

S9: The pressure from back home.

S13: That's that's that pressure is intense. There is a pressure to not to fail.

S9: You know , in my mom , she's until now , she's super harsh on me. And she's the one that's like , well , Mustafa , the neighbor , he went to America for only five years.

S13: And look at him. He already bought a villa in Marrakech with stuff like that. You know , he's doing well. He has got. Kids.

S11: Kids. It's like , oh , yeah , Mama , you know. You know , she's.

S13: So harsh on me. So her more than my dad.

S11: I blame this on my mom.

S13: So yeah , it's mainly my mom that the fact that I couldn't quit.

S4: That feeling.

S2: That I cannot be perceived as a failure , feeling let.

S4: Movement to fall prey to a kind of gambler's addiction.

S2: The sunk cost fallacy on full display.

S5: But once you get locked into a serious drug collection , the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

S9: I found myself for 25 years in the US in a in a really unhealthy cycle. Of the US is almost like a big Las Vegas. It's a lot of gambling. Things look so close , but they're not that close , so it's easy to get a big loan. Then you jump into some big adventure , then you end up working just for the banks and for your landlords. You put yourself into a really bad cycle.

S2: Just like pulling a lever on a slot machine. Moomin was forever hoping that the next Yank would hit the jackpot.

S4: Getting him into some serious debt.

S9: So whenever there is a then there is a crisis happens , you lose money. What you do , you go back to the bank because it's available. That's also another reason you don't give up because the banks , you're their best customers. They're like. Mom.

S13: Mom.

S9: Just give me 5% interest. So you are stuck in that cycle of borrowing. You become addicted to borrowing from the bank.

S2: And this cycle ultimately led Moomin to some destructive habits.

S9: I spent the first.

S13: First of all , first eight years.

S9: I was drinking not to the level of alcoholism , but it's the first eight years. You know , I was a little bit younger and I do the first six , eight hours of shopping from restaurant depot , prepping , cooking and stuff. Then you do your second shifts as a hostess , so you have to be pleasant. And I was starting to get exhausted , physically exhausted , then started the jeans and tonics , you know ? Yes.

S13: Almost every day.

S9: Five , six , seven jeans and tonics. Yep. Almost every well , 4 or 5 times a week during the weekends , because I wanted to be pleasant.

S2: Until he got a dire warning.

S4: The amount of stress he was dealing with eventually sent him to the hospital.

S2: And on his follow up visit.

S13: One young Russian doctor was in Hillcrest. He treated me like a kid.

S9: He talked to me like if I was a child or a teenager.

S13: He's like.

S9: Mom , do you want to die.

S13: Like this with this.

S9: Heavy Russian.

S13: Accent ? I told him No.

S9: Well , you're at the limit of.

S13: Everything you know , you need to take care of your diet.

S9: And stuff. If you don't next visits , I'm going to have to give you some pills for cholesterol. We're going to have to.

S13: Start to treat you for a diabetes. So that was.

S9: A major scare for me. That's about 12 years ago. And that's when I got back to swimming. Swimming. I can I tell a friend that saved my life.

S2: Moomin was forced to rethink , to reconsider even.

S4: Swimming , help with certain aspects of his life back on a healthier footing.

S2: But again , not everything was okay. He was still neck deep in debt.

S4: He couldn't cut his losses because he was so invested in his restaurant.

S2: It was hard for him to step out.



S5: Good evening. As we come on the air on the West tonight , President Trump addressing the American people just a short time ago. As the toll of the coronavirus widens here in the US.

S2: The pandemic struck.

S12: A message to the American people is that I know that there's a lot of concern and energy about getting back to normal. It's a great stress across the country. Officials putting drastic measures in place.

S5: To fight this pandemic. Here's what we know right now. The entire state of California ordered a stay at home. That's 40 million. People.

S12: People. The global death toll has now top 10,000. Almost 250,000 cases have been recorded.

S2: The stay at home orders piled the pressure on. It was getting more and more difficult for movement.

S9: When I was contemplating closing down because there was so much suffering , physical and mental. You just work hard , you can. Your business is sick , you can you. It's hard to bring it back. So you're mentally also exhausted.

S4: Businesses everywhere were forced to close down and Woman's Restaurant had been operating for three consecutive years that I lost.

S9: Then I started contemplating closing and I thought it was going to feel great. You know , I was I was like , you know , I'm going to I'm going to do it. I'm going to do it. I'm done. Then then came that that day when I said , I can't let said I'm done. So I closed and it felt great for a few hours. Then the sadness came because I was building that thing for 16 years. You know , the sadness came of some of the.

S2: Like his namesake moment had tried hard to sell , drawn to make his family proud.

S9: That's also the the some of the Middle Eastern Arabic.

S13: Culture and stuff. You try to stay strong.

S9: So I was showing always that face. But inside alone I was crying.

S2: But while the world was at a standstill.

S4: The pandemic created an opportunity for the exit that Moomin was hoping for.

S13: And that's I know it's COVID is a horrible thing , but it helped so many people like myself.

S9: Say , I'm done , you know , and we.

S13: Blamed it on COVID. That's really why I say thank goodness for COVID. So like I said before , it's made us quit.

S9: Without shame , an.

S4: Opportunity to restart , to look for a second chance.

S2: And he found it. His second chance was waiting for him in Bahia de Guadalupe. Baja burgeoning wine country.

S4: This is port of entry. We will be back after a short break.

S2: From KPBS. You are listening to Port of Entry.

S4: We asked Moomin where his love for cooking came from.

S9: And I loved watching my mum cooking , but I spent so much time when I was a kid with my grandma. And one thing that I never forget , honestly , until now , every time I roast the bell pepper , every time you know the technique , Mexicans do it , you burn it and you put it in a little bag or something so you can peel the skin off that smell of that bell pepper takes me back to when I was probably five , six years old sitting with my grandma doing it. That takes me back to that time because , you know , sometimes. Uh.

S4: And tell me about that , please.

S9: I might go in with this.

S17: You must.



S17: No , no.

S9: Let me take a breather here.

S4: The memory seemed to have really touched Moomin.

S17: Oh , my goodness.

S9: I didn't expect that.

S11: No , I'm fine. You said you could.

S2: After a brief moment to recuperate emotionally , Moomin talked more about how he learned to love cooking from his grandmother. The roasted bell peppers were for a very simple salad found in Moroccan cuisine.

S4: This moving moment set the tone for the rest of the evening. We were all in good spirits. Yeah.

S17: Yeah.

S4: And just in time for more food. That a genius. Out of the kitchen came a number of different cone shaped clay pots.

S2: In each , a different stew still bubbling hot.



S9: Striped bass tajin and lamb tajin with honey sauce , saffron rice and some couscous.

S4: When the pots were opened up , it felt like time stopped. We were enraptured by the colors and the aromas and oh , my God , the aromas. It was breathtaking.

S5: Grace Lim.

S9: Four hours to four and a half. Slow , slow braised. You got. It.

S4: It. Everything was exquisite. We asked him about the designs , the clay pots in which the food was cooked and served.

S11: I honestly don't know.

S9: The origin of it , where it came from , but it's. It was developed in within our culture. First , tajin means two things , means the cooking utensils , which is the clay pots with this cone shaped head. But it's also this slow cooking thing. You just put all your ingredients in this clay pot and you supposed to cook the tajin on top of the burned wood. So the fire is not very intense , you know , just charcoal. So then you just let everything slow , simmer with all the onions and herbs and meats and just let it cook. And then 3 or 4 hours later , you got your delicious tajin.

S4: We enjoyed listening to Moomin stories. He told us about where the ingredients that make it into his dishes come from and all the different spices found in Moroccan Mexican cuisine.

S9: They don't. They don't. They don't have a big variety of spices , but they have big variety of of chilies. They use spices , but not as much as we do in Morocco or some Middle Eastern country or Indian , for that matter. For us , we have in Morocco , you know , the spices. The Far East used to be very sophisticated in their in their in their cuisines , Indians , Chinese , where the rest of us used to , to eat very simple food , boiled vegetables and stuff like that. We didn't have spices until we brought them from the from India. In China , they used to flavor their cuisines. What the Arabs had was caravans and camels. So they did. Commerce brought all the spices and fabric from from a.

S4: Woman is a cultured and well-read man. His knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of the ingredients he cooks with heart is completely absorbed and entertained throughout the whole of the evening. Wow.

S16: Wow.

S2: I wish someone spoke about me the way you speak about moment. Not a. Crush.

S16: Crush.

S2: He's Mormon. Feels very at home here in Baja. And we wanted to know why.

S9: First , there is some some similarities , a little bit between Mexican culture and the Moroccan culture. You know , I mean , like I said before , the this is the sense of family are rowdy and noisy and can be obnoxious and touchy or overly friendly. I can I can I can hug a stranger. May I ? I had problems in the US being like that.

S17: I realized here it's not a problem.

S9: Similarities between Moroccan and Mexican. We like to eat with with pita , with breads , with our hands. We like to touch our foods. That's that's big and a lot of slow cooking.

S4: You know ? And then there's the markets. Moomin is also reminded of home when he shops for his produce at his Street Market in nearby in Sanada.

S9: I grew up. In.

S17: In.

S9: In crowded markets and people naming calling things. When you walk into the big market in Marrakesh , you're in you're in. A.

S17: A.

S9: Different world. You know.

S13: They say in SPSS.

S9: You know like people saying prices come I mean potatoes , ten grams , $1 a day. People call in prices and calling you. And this is an energy that I didn't find in San Diego. It's super clean , super organized , but I find it in Baja.



S10: Now para me. Okay. Gracias.

S13: Gracias. Huh ? Gracias.

S9: I actually feel more relaxed cross into Mexico then because not. I know some people might talk about some safety issues , but that's their problem. But I feel more relaxed because because of that comfort foods , mental food , which is the noise and the music and the people and stuff like that , and being with Mexican families , just just being in Morocco , we might complain about that sometimes , like. Kids.

S13: Kids. Screaming.

S9: Screaming. I used to complain about that in Morocco , but I ended up missing it.





S2: Just cut your losses. Let go of what's not working and move to Baja.

S4: Move to Baja. And don't be like a Lincoln.

S2: Don't be like Elaine.

S4: This episode of Port of Entry was written and produced by Julio Cesar Ortiz. Franco.

S2: Luca Vega is technical producer and sound designer.

S4: Is media production specialist.

S2: Elisa Barba is our editor.

S4: Lisa Morissette is director of audio programming and operations and John Decker is senior director of Content development.

S2: This program is made possible in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting , a private corporation funded by the American people.

S4: This project was also made possible with support from California Humanities , a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit Call

S2: Soy Alan Lilienthal.

S4: Soy Natalie Gonzalez. Nos.

S2: Nos. Vemos. Pronto.

Moumen Nouri left Morocco in search of new experiences in the US. His American dream soon turned into a nightmare after getting into some serious financial trouble in order to keep his San Diego restaurant above water. Moumen talks to us about growing up in Morocco and how a move to Valle de Guadalupe gave him a second chance to fulfill his dream of owning his restaurant.

Tune in!



Port of Entry is back after a long hiatus and is excited to share a whole new set of stories with you, this time centered around food and migration.

This season we share several stories about how food has changed cities in the borderlands, including episodes on folks who have made Valle de Guadalupe, the famous wine region of northern Baja, their home.

Follow hosts Natali Gonzalez and Alan Lilienthal as they sit down with these fascinating people who share their personal and family stories. Listen in and join us!

If you like this episode, show us some love @portofentrypod


From KPBS and PRX, “Port of Entry” tells cross-border stories that connect us. More stories at

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Support our show at Search “Port of Entry” in the gifts section to get our sling bag as a thank-you gift.

If your business or nonprofit wants to sponsor our show, email

Feedback is a gift. Text or call the "Port of Entry" team at 619-500-3197 anytime with questions or comments about the show. Email us at

“Port of Entry'' is written, produced and directed by Julio C. Ortiz Franco. Luca Vega is our Technical Producer and Sound Designer.

Alisa Barba is our editor.

Episodes are translated by Julio C. Ortiz Franco and Natali Gonzales.

Elma Gonzalez and M.G. Perez are our Spanish Editors.

Lisa Morrisette-Zapp is Director of Audio Programming and Operations and John Decker is the Director of Content Development.

This program is made possible, in part, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.