Filling the Blues - the spirit of Ramadan in action - Dubai.
A few years ago, Tahir Shah's attention was caught by some workers. He was curious. When did they break their fast? Where did they do this? Long before he had even created his empire of Moti Roti, described as healthy Pakistani home cooking, he started out with a couple of people to make the iftars of the workers around the area where he lived memorable and meaningful.
Three years on, this gesture has grown, with different sponsors every night contributing to his vision of making a difference. Through social media, leading Dubai bloggers (I will use their profile names on Twitter) CoffeeCakes&Running and Geordie Armani have joined him in fashioning a distraction and even momentary happiness for the most deserving of people, some of the blue collar workers in Dubai. Hence the Twitter # known as 'fillingtheblues'. Admirable as they are, and I believe we can learn from them, this piece is about someone else. Someone who represents the many faces we see passing us in the morning, sleepily and wearily looking out of buses on their way to another long day of work.
|Qasim, a security worker at the site where the iftar packs were handed out.|
|The arrival of the burritos.|
|I wish had the language ability to engage the man in the centre.|
|A quiet dignity|
|Volunteers handing out iftar packs.|
|Happiness in a hard hat.|
|Happiness in a box.|
|Do I really need a caption here?|
Sadly for Qasim and the other workers, the end of Ramadan will signal a return to routine. Would it be asking too much to continue this gesture at least once a month to keep the spirit of giving and sharing going?
I don't know if I will see Qasim again, but sometimes relationships are just moments and no more. It was a moment I am likely to be thinking of for a long time.
Sponsors who made this night possible - 23 July 2014