Yahya Hashemi and Ala Amiry are Heroes of Kindness #AtoZChallenge

by - April 29, 2017

When Sean Jalbert saw the sign outside the small restaurant in Montreal, he was suspicious. The sign taped on the door of the Mediterranean themed 'Marche Ferdous' written in English as well as French, read:

 "People with no money welcome to eat for free."

Sean decided to test them out and so went in and pretended not to have any money. He was blown away as they told him to have a seat and order anything he liked and take what he wanted from the fridge as well. After he finished eating, he revealed the truth and paid for his meal.

It was his social media post on it that caught the world's eye and brought news crews to the doorstep of the owner Yahya Hashemi. As it turned out, the Iranian immigrant had been doing this for about five months, adding the costs for free meals to his business expenses list. He remains confident that people will not take advantage of his generosity.

Hashemi and co-owner, Ala Amiry from Iraq got the idea when they found many asking for spare change to buy food at the currency exchange service next to the restaurant. He had also noticed dozens of homeless people sitting in the cold opposite the church and wanted to help. Deciding it was simpler and more dignified for those seeking help, he decided to just give them free access to eat at his restaurant rather than wait for them to beg.

He felt in this 'small' way, he was returning something back to the country that had given him so much love over the years. Inspired by his generosity, patrons have begun donating money so he can continue to help. Presently feeding 5-6 people a day for free, Hashemi and chef Abdelkader actually look forward to more people in need coming in for a free, hot meal at their restaurant.

At night if you still have leftover food you end up throwing it out, so why not give to those in need? 
- Abdelkader Bejaoui, chef

Why you should remember Yahya Hashemi and Ala Amiry

The two say that giving to people in need is part of their religion. They want people to know that 'immigrants like them are there who work hard to participate in the country's economy and social tissue.'

All religions have been misinterpreted over the years to suit one's needs and agendas. In such trying times, it is important to find context of one's religion within the boundaries of humanity, rather than the other way around.

It is important to be kind to those in need.

You can find Marche Ferdous on Facebook here.

This is part of my #AtoZChallenge where I will be focusing on Real Life Heroes: Shining Examples of Kindness and Compassion. You can find other real-life heroes here.

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  1. The right religious agenda if there was one! This is how the teachings of any religions should be used! Wonderful story!

  2. I am glad I began my day with this post. I am wondering what if something like this happens in India...

  3. What a magnanimous soul! I think people who understand the real meaning of religion do not ever fight for it.

    Shubhangi @ The Little Princess

  4. The beautiful part of this is how the restaurant owner allows the needy to maintain their dignity while nourishing their bodies.

  5. Love the unique thought on religion and what its interpretation should be!

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  6. There is no better love than the one for humanity in making the world a better place. I am amazed at such men and women who freely give without expecting.

  7. This is such a generous act. And the one that keeps the self respect of the homeless intact. I have seen similar posters in eateries in Kuwait as well.

  8. Another beautiful story of a truly generous souls.

  9. Food is something most of us take for granted and those who can't afford it know how crucial it is for survival.Sometimes doing good needs just sharing the basics. here from ATOZ http://poojasharmarao.blogspot.in/2017/04/y-yann-martel-inspirational-writers.html

  10. It is really great to know that no one took advantage of him! Otherwise, I wouldn't be surprised to if people did! I'm sure it must have added a lot more cost to his business, but it must nowhere be close to what he must be feeling in his heart!


  11. The fact that he thought not just about those people's hunger but about their dignity too says a lot about this lovely gentleman. May there be more like him!

  12. Oh how kind. This is my dream too. To open a cafe and serve food free to the needy. Hopefully one day I'll get there.

  13. Treating people in need as their guests and feeding them for free with dignity is definitely noble work.

  14. I wish all of us could be as trusting and as generous as him. Unfortunately, although we have the heart to help, we always fear of getting exploited.

  15. Imagine if everyone thought that way, what a better place the world would be. On a daily basis, we waste so much food, and then say not everyone has enough to eat. Generosity comes from within; you must have that intent.

  16. What a really nice thing to do! When there is so much of wastage of food, here he is doing the little something which he can. Thanks for sharing his story.
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  17. Wonderful stories for inspiration. Feeding the hungry us so basic and very much needed.

  18. I don't know how you find these but they make us all feel good. Hats off to these two. Paying it forward brings it all back!

    Suzy at Someday Somewhere - You are ...

  19. These stories of kindness reinstates our belief in love and humanity. Thank you for sharing them everyday Doc.

  20. This is a beautiful story. Sometimes I think that only when you had been in need, you know what it means, and you also know that it's often very easy and it cost very little to give back.

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

    The Old Shelter - 1940s Film Noir

  21. This is absolutely fantastic and such a kind gesture. I love the concept of suspended coffee in UK. It's the same where people buy coffee more than they need and people who need coffee but can't pay can drink for free. Recently, a restaurant in Bangalore started keeping a fridge out side with food, fruits and water for the poor..
    Roshan, your posts were so heart warming and fabulous. Such a well done challenge.

  22. Maslow would indeed be happy about this! A heart warming story indeed!


Let me know what you think.