POLAND TWP., Ohio (WYTV) – On Friday, 33 News reported on the opening of the new Morgan Oil store in Poland Township. While the owner showed a lot of pride about his new store, he had to come a long way to get there.
Mike Kassem excitedly greeted everyone Friday with smiles on his face; however, life started a little differently for Kassem.
“I grew up in a refugee camp in South Lebanon, and my mother used to tell us when we were children that we’re Palestinian. That we’re born to struggle. We’re born to achieve and we were born to overcome obstacles and adapt to situations,” said Kassem.
He came to the U.S. in 1985 and went on to graduate from Youngstown State University with a degree in accounting.
He opened his first Morgan Oil in Struthers in 1995.
“She used to tell us, if you have something, somebody can take it away from you, but if you have knowledge, it goes down to the grave with you,” Kassem said.
While Kassem speaks high praise of his mom, others speak highly of him.
“He’s been just a great individual. He’s a very good humanitarian, great guy and he looks out for people,” said Pete Greene of Youngstown. “I’ve seen him step out of his store to help a woman–to put air in her tires, and I mean, that’s not something that most store owners will do. But I’m just saying, he looks out for his people.”
Even though Kassem’s mother has long passed, Kassem knows he’s made her proud. After all, his mother’s wishes were for her children to succeed like he has done.