Tiyya was co-founded by Owliya Dima and her daughter Meymuna Hussein-Cattan, who are refugees from Ethiopia. Meymuna was born in an Ethiopian refugee camp in Somalia, and her father was resettled in Southern California in 1983. In 1984, the family reunited.
Since then, they have made an enormous impact on supporting and raising awareness about multicultural refugee communities in Orange County.
Prior to founding Tiyya, Owliya volunteered in assisting newcomers with the challenging process of resettlement for over a decade.
In 2010, her volunteer efforts shifted into Tiyya (Meymuna's thesis project in grad school), creating a powerful organization that has provided assistance and accommodation to individual refugees and families for the past seven years.