MANCHESTER (Dispatches) – A
Palestinian restaurant in Manchester has made 900 meals for Afghan refugees and delivered them to the airport for when they land.
Ali Yousef and his wife Aisha, who co-founded Baity, worked with Islamic Relief to rustle up seven-spice chicken, saffron rice, and buttered green beans, the i newspaper reports, after receiving a phone call to say a planeload of refugees would be arriving at Manchester airport.
“Our work has no political or institutional involvement – we partner with Islamic Relief to help,” Ali said.
“I’m a Palestinian and my family left Kuwait when Saddam Hussein invaded in the 1990s. We went through an asylum process in the UK. It runs in my identity.”
“We have a shared experience and a connection. Because it’s so close to home I feel I have a duty to help those suffering now.”
Earlier this month the UK government announced it was taking 20,000 Afghan refugees through an official resettlement program as videos circulated showing thousands of Afghans trying to get on planes as Kabul fell to the Taliban.
Last week two explosions were reported at the airport killing at least 95 and wounding 150.
Critics have said that the UK’s pledge for resettlement is not enough. Others have stepped in, including Airbnb, which has said it will provide temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide.
Charities have warned that many Afghans will make their way using irregular routes, for example in dinghies across the Channel and that they will be pushed into the arms of traffickers.