Abu Dhabi-based Palestian offers free iftar to over 300 people for 22 years


A 69-year old retired Palestinian employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in remembrance of his dead son about 22 years ago, finds solace in offering free iftar in Ramadan to residents of his base in Abu Dhabi.

1996 in an unforgetable year for Nazmi Mohammad Mahmoud. It was the year his son, Haisam Nazmi, aged 18, died in a catastrophic car accident. Coincidentally he died during the Ramadan of that year when he began donating free iftars to around 300 people near his apartment off Hamdan street in Abu Dhabi. And since then he never stopped the charitable act.

While distributing iftar on Sunday evening, Mahmoud said, “I have been doing this for my son who may receive good rewards from Allah.”

“When they say they too pray for my son, I feel gratified,” he added.

K.A Usman, 48, an Indian shop owner at Mahmoud’s residencial area, said he had been regularly having Iftar with Mahmoud since he started offering it in 1996. “I come here regularly because of his love and warmth. He treats everyone like a brother,” Usman said.

Mahmoud was fortunate enough to have got reliable volunteers like Mohammad Tariq from Pakistan, Ibrahim Kunhi Moolakkadath from India and Sarwar Wadud from Bangladesh.

“I am happy to help him in his good cause,” Moolakkadath said.

“I started doing it since I was seven or eight years old,” Tariq said, as he spread a sheet on the roof of the underground parking space of the municipality where the iftars are held, readying for the arrival of the guests.

Sarwar Wadud, 33, a Bangladeshi salesman, said the quality of food served by Mahmoud is a matter of praise.

“People come from other neighbourhoods [for the iftar] because they cannot get such food anywhere else,” Wadud stated.


A Palestinian resident Nazmi Mohammad Mahmoud, who has been offering Iftar to around 300 people for past 22 years at Hamdan street near by his home in Abu Dhabi- Photo Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News



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