Sunday , April 11 2021

35 years later, these Cape organizations are still feeding thousands of people to Eid

What started out among three friends who used two small pots in 1984 turned into what has now become a massive cooking, where 300 volunteers have teamed up to cook food for thousands of people across the Western Cape.

At least 300 volunteers from the organization based in Rijland, Nakhlistan, will have food for 85,000 inhabitants of Cape Eid on June 6, 2019. Picture: Lizel Perseni / EVN

CAPE TOWN – Thirty-five years ago, the non-profit organization Nakhlistan began to cook one day before Eid-ul-Fitr, in order to feed the less fortunate in the Rajland community.

What started out among three friends who used two small pots in 1984 turned into what has now become a massive cooking, where 300 volunteers have teamed up to cook food for thousands of people across the Western Cape.

WATCH: Tons of rice and a lot of love: How Cape NPO feeds 85,000 people to Eid

Nakhlistan, in partnership with the Mustafain Foundation, feeds on 85,000 people on Eid Day, which is marked on 5 June this year.

While Naklstan focuses on the cooking component, the Mustafafin Foundation focuses on distribution of meals in areas such as Atlantis, Hoot Bay, Witig, Manenberg and many others.

Muslims from all over the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr annually, meaning "Post-breaking Festival" in Arabic. It highlights the end of the month of the death of Ramadan, the holiest month in Islam.

Food, however, is distributed to the poor people of all faiths.

Nakhisland's official spokesman Fatima Ali explains: "Nakhlistan is an organization based on Muslims, but we feed on everyone, and that is what makes this organization such a wonderful organization."

Over the years, the quantities and sizes of pots continued to grow, raising the network. In the past four years, 169 pots of 130 liters have been made. Each vessel, on average, feeds 320 people.

The massive cooking event takes place the night before Eid, where hundreds of volunteers gather in Callies Rugby Grounds near Athlon to discharge the dishes and cook for up to five hours.

Mustafafin's Director of the Foundation, Gayrunisa Johnston-Kasim, explains why he has been doing this for more than three decades: "Feeding the poor is a big part of the Muslim community and in the month of Ramadan when they fast for up to 30 days, it reminds us that there are poor people who do not have choice We have a choice to fast We make our intention to strengthen ourselves when we refrain from sunrise to sunset, but it is a choice that you make as a Muslim. There are poor people who do not have that choice. "

Johnston-Qasim is part of the initiative since it began in the early 1980s.

Fatima Ali says that the meal done each year is meat acne, because this is considered a royal delicacy and is considered the most rewarding meal.

Ali follows the work of the organization because they started and joined the organization in 2005. "When we do what we do, it's because of the gratitude we see on our faces, not just the elderly or the adults, but especially the children."

Months of planning go into ensuring that everything flows smoothly, as many ingredients are needed.

Johnston-Kasim adds: "Twenty-seven kilograms of rice goes in one bowl, so these are the amounts you see alongside your tablespoons, garlic, ginger and salt. It's eight clusters of Danny in a pot and it's open fire. Eid starts cooking at 7 pm The preparation is not done on that day only, but the preparation was made the previous day. So if you start cooking on June 4, the potatoes, onions and meat will be chopped and cleaned on June 3rd . "

Asif Parker has been helping a volunteer in the last 24 years. He said: "Then we used to peel potatoes and clean the onion, take off the chili stems, so it goes back. Knowing that there's a hungry stomach somewhere, you realize that someone must take charge and somehow prepare the pot, somehow. "

The only other person other than the founder Shukoor Mouzer who knows the secret recipe is volunteer Abdul Josein.

Hoosain says that even if he wants, he will not be able to share the recipe while judging the amount of each spice, following his stomach.

Hoosain began volunteering in 1994 and has been returning since then. "I do it for the community, not for monetary gain. I'm not paying. It's purely for charity."

To date, it will be impossible to measure how many hungry mouths have been feeding over the years, but the community and donor organizations-organizations continue to encourage the excitement in the hearts of many expected people this winter.

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