Sunday, July 06, 2014

Ramadan with One Third

We might be abstaining from food and drink during the long daylight hours but the team at One Third are committed to ensuring the soup kitchen runs smoothly throughout the holy month. 

After all, it's temporary, and the punters reach out and greedily devour and scoff the gutbusters as soon as the Adhan for Magrib is proclaimed. In fact we eat to such excess that many complain of heartburn and indigestion throughout the next day. 

The people we serve on a Friday and Saturday are very different. They may be wedged in between Stratford and Canary Wharf but that's where the similarity ends - they have no home, no hearth, are struggling for a nutritious meal and some have no family, nor friends to call upon. 

It reminds me of an image of a child who asks her mother when they will break fast as the rest of the world has broken theirs, prayed, and ate again in preparation for the next day. 

These souls sleep rough and wash as and when they can. I met a proud Pole yesterday. He feigned that he couldn't understand me but it was obvious he did. He wouldn't make eye contact and I knew right away that as a proud man he was embarrassed to be reduced to be asking for food charity.

We had our regular visitors and we had a nice catch up. During lighthearted banter Amanda even said she missed it when the lads were absent from the stall. I guess it's the effect I have...

We spotted a fellow sitting across the road and a member of the team took a hot plateful over. It was well received so we sent out two of the team to seek out people who were experiencing difficulty in making their way to our kitchen. We found another gentleman in similar circumstances. 

The dhal and rice was immense and very popular. A few visitors came back for seconds, thirds and even takeaways. We were able to finish duties and get home to break fast. I was able to zoom it to Tower Hamlets, pick up my nieces and get to my older nieces in Stratford to break fast. 

Ramadan is a time for contemplation, self improvement and giving. One Third will continue to serve the vulnerable and the homeless throughout the month and beyond.

1 comment:

Juna Miller said...

It has been my honor and privilege to call you a close friend Emdad. I have learned a great deal of human compassion from you my friend. I want you to know how much I appreciate learning how life should be lived through your eyes. I am blessed to know you and cherish our friendship. GOOD WORK AMIGO