Feeling tired and hungry after days (or weeks, or months) of searching for a job? There’s a restaurant in Dubai that offers free meals to jobseekers, the Khaleej Times reported.
Situated in Dubai Silicon Oasis is The Kebab Shop, which offers food to those who are unemployed and looking for a job. It may be recalled that last year, there was another Dubai restaurant offering free meals to jobless people, as part of the “Year of Giving.”
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The Kebab Shop Offers Free Food to the Unemployed
Outside The Kebab Shop, a sign says, “If you are unemployed and looking for a job, drop by for a meal on us. Don’t think of it as charity, you can come back to pay us whenever you can.”
What prompted this restaurant to offer free meals? The owner, Kamal Rizvi, shared about an incident that inspired him: They had a couple of customers who would eat at The Kebab Shop everyday. One day, however, one of them stopped coming because he lost his job. Rizvi told him to keep on coming to the restaurant for his meals, and just pay back when he gets a new job.
The customer returned, grateful for the meals. According to Rizvi, the incident made him think about many other jobseekers who were struggling and skipping meals just to survive. He decided to start an initiative that would help the unemployed, without making them feel as if it were “charity.” He wanted to make them feel welcome and comfortable in the restaurant.
“No Questions Asked”
Rizvi shared that anyone who wants a free meal simply has to point to the signboard outside. The staff will not ask any questions; they will simply ask if the customer wants a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, a rice or roti meal. They will serve biryani or roti with curry, plus a cold drink.
The owner mentioned that everyday, around one or two jobseekers drop by for a free meal. He noticed that they would often sit shyly in a corner, seemingly overwhelmed. Usually, these customers would leave a “thank you” note on paper napkins and leave them on the table.
Notably, Rizvi shared that people have returned to their restaurant to pay for their free meals. When asked how much they have to pay, Rizvi just tells them to give whatever they feel like giving, because the restaurant does not keep record of the free meals that it serves.
“Happiness & Peace”
Rizvi, who is a Pakistani-Canadian entrepreneur, said that he gains happiness and peace out of the initiative. He explained that feeding a couple of people everyday does not cost him much, since Almighty Allah has given him more than what he needs. He is simply happy to serve people.
Notably, he is planning to start a similar initiative in Pakistan by collecting surplus food from restaurants, repacking them, and distributing meals to the needy.
Indeed, acts of generosity such as these are rare and truly inspiring! It is heartwarming to know that there are entrepreneurs like Rizvi who care about helping people, not just about making profit. Speaking of restaurants, if you are a Filipino in Dubai looking for classic Pinoy dishes, check out Lamesa Restaurant and try their delicious Filipino buffet!