A Muslim-owned restaurant in Montréal is offering free meals to anyone unable to buy food.
After noticing a large number of homeless people in the neighbourhood, restuarant co-owner Yahya Hashemi and his staff at Marché Ferdous decided to give a free warm meal to those in need.
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“We do not ask any questions, we do not judge people," Hashemi told Global News. “They want to eat, [we] give them the food. That’s it, that’s all.”
“It doesn’t matter,”chef Abdelkader Bejaoui told CTV News. "Because at night, if you still have leftover food, you end up throwing it [out]. So why not give it to those in need? It’s not a big deal," he said.
The restaurant’s front window sports a sign welcoming people to eat for free in English and French. The sign caught the attention of a Montréal resident Sean Jalbert four months after it had been put up and he decided to see if it was actually true.
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On Monday, he visited the restaurant pretending he had no money. To his surprise, one of the staff members said he was welcome to pick anything he pleased.
Inspired and touched by this, he shared his experience in a Facebook post that went viral. “Curious enough I walked in and pretend I had no money and asked for food. She didn’t ask anything, but said we welcome you and pick whatever you like, including anything I wanted to drink,” the post read.
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Hashemi, who emigrated to Canada from Iran three decades ago, told Global News that his charitable initiative was his way of thanking the country that had helped him. Co-owner Ala Amiry agreed and noted that helping the needy was part of their culture. “We have to reflect our real image of Islam, of Muslim people,” Amiry told CTV.
This article originally appeared on Huffpost Religion.
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