Free serving Pak restaurant makes headlines in US

In the world’s most important capital, Mannan is silently improving image of the country of his origin. Running a small restaurant just within a kilometre from the White House, he is called a “Messiah”, an “angel” and a “hero” in Washington. Top media outlets like the Washington Post describe him as a model immigrant and a success story. Mannan’s heart beats with Pakistan.

“I want to change the image of my country and my religion and show the world that we are a caring and loving nation,” he says. There are hundreds of restaurants in Washington serving food from all continents of the world, but Mannan’s “Sakina Halal Grill” is loved by Americans like none. His chicken Karahi, Butter chicken and Biryani are popular but most famous is his generosity.

At Sakina, everyone can eat literally! Because the food is free for poor, hungry and homeless, and the waiters serve them in the dining room as if they’re full paying customers. While coming to the United States with just $3 in his pocket, 25-year-old Kazi Mannan never thought he will make headlines one day in US media and dine with senators, congressmen, celebrities judges and even former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

At Sakina, everyone can eat literally! Because the food is free for poor, hungry and homeless, and the waiters serve them in the dining room as if they’re full paying customers. While coming to the United States with just $3 in his pocket, 25-year-old Kazi Mannan never thought he will make headlines one day in US media and dine with senators, congressmen, celebrities judges and even former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
“It’s a tribute to all the mothers around the world,” Mannan, who lost his mother Sakina, 26 years ago, says of the name of his business. “When I was young my mother told me no matter how poor you are just remember to share with others and God will make sure you are out of trouble,” Kazi said while describing his principle.

A normal buffet lunch cost $14 (about Rs1,500) at Sakina, but Mannan serves over 6,000 homeless on average annually since 2013. “There is no restriction on number of people who want to eat here. Anyone can just walk-in and eat any time as long as the restaurants is open”.

Mannan came to the United States in 1996 from a small village of Kari Shareef in Jhelum. He had to work day and night to feed his nine siblings and parents back home. “I worked at gas stations, car workshops, laboratories tirelessly,” he said.

Mannan had been working since the age of 12, selling vegetables in the streets of Pakistan. His mother raised cattle and sold milk. His father had gone to Libya in search of construction work.

His hard work was rewarded and soon he bought a limousine to offer luxury ride to customers. Today he owns a fleet of limousine and a restaurant in the heart of Washington. His two businesses, now employee over 30 people.
“I came from a village in Pakistan that didn’t have electricity or running water. Our school was completely outdoors. It was always my dream to overcome poverty and own a restaurant. And that’s what I did,” he says.
Mannan says he is a proud Muslim-American. “And I like to believe that when I’m giving to the poor and hungry, God sees that. Just the act of giving a smile to someone can be a blessing. Just think about what food has the power to do.”

On the very first day Mannan took over, no one knew this restaurant would offer free food, so he went outside in a park and gather all the homeless people that he could find and brought them to his restaurant.
“You eat for free,” he told them to their disbelief. “I still remember the pleasant surprise they felt at this and their grateful eyes give me immense satisfaction and pleasure,” he says.

“I told them this is your place to eat. As long as I own it, this is your place,” he said. Many of them kept coming for days and the offer spread through word of mouth.

“My offer is not for homeless people only. Anyone who is hungry and can’t pay can eat here. I had many such clients,” Mannan said. Today, I have so many homeless friends. I have phone numbers and get texts from them all of the time … That’s what I want. I want them to see me as their friend. And, I want others to see them as human beings.

He said he never felt someone is taking unfair advantage of his offer. “People here don’t abuse such things,” he said. Mannan said offering free food has never affected his profit. “I believe God takes cares of your finances once you start sharing.”

Mannan’s generosity soon spread across the country and even outside. He has been interviewed by top media outlets like CNN, VOA, ABC, the Washington Post and others. He said he was never interviewed by a Pakistani media outlet. “I don’t want publicity as I do all this for God and I know it improves image of Pakistan and Islam,” Mannan said.

My customers include top politicians, judges, teachers, movie stars and top government officials, and I always proudly introduce them to Pakistan and show them videos on Pakistan’s beautiful areas and people.

“It would be good if Pakistan embassy could use my services to promote soft image of the country but even without any official guidance I am still promoting my country as it is my duty as I was born and raised there.”

My mother taught me to be generous and give with my time. “I’m trying to teach that to my family too. My son is in his first year of college here but when he’s not at school, he’s here with me working at the restaurant. And, my brother, he’s my head chef. I love having them here. But, my wife and two sons are in Pakistan,” He said his success has enabled him to start a school for 200 orphans in Pakistan. “As my business grows, I will expand my humanitarian work in Pakistan,” he said.

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Humanity and The West

Helen Joanne Cox was a British Labour Party politician who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Batley and Spen constituency from her election in May 2015.

At 12:53 pm BST on 16 June 2016, Cox was fatally shot and stabbed outside a library in Birstall, West Yorkshire, where she was about to hold a constituency surgery at 1:00 pm. A 77-year-old local man, Bernard Kenny, was also stabbed in the stomach while trying to fend off her attacker.

Thomas Mair, a 52-year-old Batley and Spen constituent had links to the U.S.-based neo-Nazi group National Alliance, shouted “This is for Britain. Britain will always come first” as he carried out the attack.

Cox was born Helen Joanne Leadbeater on 22 June 1974 in Batley, West Yorkshire, England. She was educated at Heckmondwike Grammar School, where she was head girl. During summers, she worked packing toothpaste. Cox studied Social and Political Sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1995. She later studied at the London School of Economics.

Following her graduation, Cox worked as an adviser to Labour MP Joan Walley. From 2001 to 2009, she worked for the aid groups Oxfam and head of Oxfam International’s humanitarian campaigns in New York City in 2007. Her work for Oxfam in which she met disadvantaged groups in Darfur and Afghanistan influenced her political thinking. Cox’s charity work led to a role advising Sarah Brown, wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was spearheading a campaign to prevent deaths in pregnancy and childbirth. Cox was the national chair of the Labour Women’s Network and a senior adviser to the Freedom Fund, an anti-slavery charity.

Reasons for Cox’s Murder

Cox, a supporter of the Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East, called for the lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Cox campaigned for a solution to the Syrian Civil War. In October 2015, she co-authored an article in The Observer with Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell, arguing that British military forces could help achieve an ethical solution to the conflict, including the creation of civilian safe havens in Syria. During that month Cox launched the All Party Parliamentary Friends of Syria group, becoming its chair. In the Commons vote in December to approve UK military intervention against ISIL in Syria, Cox abstained because she believed in a more comprehensive strategy that would also include combatting President Bashar al-Assad and his “indiscriminate barrel bombs”.
She wrote:
By refusing to tackle Assad’s brutality, we may actively alienate more of the Sunni population, driving them towards Isis. So I have decided to abstain. Because I am not against airstrikes per se, but I cannot actively support them unless they are part of a plan. Because I believe in action to address Isis, but do not believe it will work in isolation.

Army major who ‘tied’ Kashmiri man to jeep honoured

The incident had deepened the army-civilian divide and sparked violent protests in the militancy-hit valley. Reports Rahul Singh of Hindustan Times, New Delhi (India). May 22, 2017 Indian Standard Time

An army major, who was in the eye of a storm for allegedly tying a Kashmiri man to a jeep to use him as a human shield, has been awarded the army chief’s commendation card. Confirming the development, army spokesperson Colonel Aman Anand said the officer had been awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation (COAS) card for “sustained efforts in CI (counter insurgency) operations”.

The army found itself in the middle of a firestorm after the surfacing of a video clip that showed a man tied to the fender of a Rakshak jeep and paraded through villages. A day after the video clip surfaced on April 14, 2017 the army ordered a probe into the incident.

In the video, announcements of people being warned that “this will be the fate of stone-pelters” could be heard in the background. The incident had triggered outrage in Kashmir, with separatists saying it was on “expected lines from an oppressor”.

The incident had deepened the army-civilian divide and sparked violent protests in the militancy-hit valley.

Stay Together

1. ”Alone I can ‘Say’ but together we can ‘talk’.
2. “Alone I can ‘Enjoy’ but together we can celebrate
3. ‘Alone I can ‘Smile’ but together we can ‘Laugh’.

That’s the BEAUTY of Human Relations. We are nothing without each other.
Stay connected.

The razor blade is sharp but can’t cut a tree; the axe is strong but can’t cut the hair.

MORAL:- Everyone is important according to his/her unique purpose. Never look down on anyone unless you are admiring their shoes.

Behaviour

A man married a beautiful girl. He loved her very much. One day she developed a skin disease. Slowly she started to lose her beauty. It so happened that one day her husband left for a tour. While returning he met with an accident and lost his eyesight. However, their married life continued as usual. But as days passed she lost her beauty gradually. Blind husband did not know this and there was not any difference in their married life. He continued to love her and she also loved him very much.

One day she died. Her death brought great sorrow to her husband.
He finished all her last rites and announced that he wanted to leave that town.
A man from behind called and said, “Now, how will you be able to walk all alone? All these days your wife used to help you.”
He replied, “I am not blind. I was acting because if she knew l could see her ugliness, it would have pained her more than her disease. So I pretended to be blind. She was a very good wife. I only wanted to keep her happy.”

Sometimes it is good for us to act blind and ignore one another’s short comings, in order to be happy.