Born and raised in a small village in Niger, West Africa, Ali Sekou now calls the Heights in Concord his home — and he’s spent a lot of time and effort (and wears many hats) getting involved in the community.

After moving to New Hampshire in 2012 and attending ESOL night classes, Ali earned his associate’s degree from NHTI, bachelor’s degree from Plymouth State University, and master’s degree from UNH.

Now a manager at Hannaford, Ali is a graduate of Leadership New Hampshire and a recipient of NH Union Leader’s ‘40 Under Forty’ award. He’s the president of the Islamic Society of Greater Concord, treasurer for the Organization for Immigrants and Refugees Success (ORIS), a library trustee, a board member of NH Community Loan Funds and the Concord Public Library Foundation (CPLF).

He shared some of his favorite places in Concord to spend time, alongside his wife and their two children.

Our locally owned international markets like Maddy’s, Katmandu Bazaar, and the Asian markets where my family and community buy their home countries’ food and goods. It is also a place to connect, meet and interact with a diverse group of people living in Concord and surrounding communities. We’re fortunate to have these businesses around, otherwise, we will have to travel to Manchester or even Massachusetts to get some of our traditional food. This is the value of small businesses.

Kosmas Smirnioudis and Aiden Terrio, 10, cut butternut squash down to size ahead of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Windmill Family Restaurant in Concord on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. Monitor file

Kimball Jenkins is my favorite art place in Concord. It’s a very welcoming and inclusive place that offers a rich history and culture and beautiful artwork. It serves our community’s needs for a place for events and networking and most importantly art education and children’s programs. As a parent and a community leader, I’m grateful to have Kimball Jenkins in our community to cultivate strong relationships with each other. When I had a friend visiting us from Missouri, I took her to Kimball Jenkins to explore, which she loved!

The Windmill Restaurant is also a local family-owned restaurant that serves our community’s needs in prepared foods. They offer fresh and delicious food. I enjoy going there for breakfast. It is one of my favorite places to catch up with friends, our community, and city leaders. Their staff is nice and welcoming.

The Works Cafe, located in the heart of our state capital, is very convenient for a meeting, with its quick service, and healthy and delicious foods. I enjoy going there for breakfast and lunch. I love their soups. My family loves their smoothies. And it’s always good to say hi to Don, a colleague on the board of CLF.

The Works Cafe was featured in QSR Magazine’s 2022 list of America’s Hottest Startup FastCasuals. The menu features locally-sourced ingredients, and the restaurant recycles orcomposts nearly all waste across its systems! Concord Insider