In Qatar, a sign outside a modest restaurant, popular with migrant labourers reads: “If you are hungry and have no money, eat for free!!!”

About three weeks ago the Indian brothers who own a restaurant called Zaiqa decided to put up a small makeshift sign offering free food to customers who cannot afford to pay.

“When I saw the board I had tears in my eyes,” said one of the owners, Shadab Khan, 47, originally from New Delhi, who has lived in Qatar for 13 years.

“Even now when I talk about it, I get a lump in my throat.”

He said the idea came from his younger brother, Nishab.

“People need free food”

The need for free food in Qatar is particularly acute among labourers and those working in heavy industry.

It is estimated that there are anywhere between 700,000 and one million migrant workers in the tiny Gulf kingdom, out of a total population of 2.3 million.

Rights groups have criticised companies in Qatar for not paying workers on time or, in some cases, not at all.

The Qatari government vowed earlier this year to force companies to pay wages through direct bank transfers.

Even those who do get paid will be intent on sending most of their money back home, said one of Zaiqa’s diners, Nepalese mechanic Ghufran Ahmed.

“Many labourers earn 800-1,000 riyals (US$220-US$275) per month. They have to send money back to home. It’s expensive here so there are people who need free food,” he said.

Shadab, said those asking for food are mostly construction workers from countries such as India, Nepal and Bangladesh.

“We realise a lot of people out here do not get paid on time and do not have money, not even money to eat,” he said.

“So there were people who would come here and just buy a packet of bread. And they would eat the bread with water.

"So, we realised those people don’t have money for anything else. They just buy a packet of bread, which comes to about one riyal. So, we would try to offer them food.”

But it is not easy, added Shadab.

“Self-respect”, he said, means many refuse to take something for nothing.

As a result, in the three weeks since the free food experiment started, “the number of people coming here to get free food is like two or three people a day at the most”.

For Zaiqa too, there is a black cloud on the horizon.

The restaurant’s future is threatened by a dispute over rent with the property owner and may have to close down.

Shadab and his brother have a different plan for their next restaurant.

“We are putting a refrigerator outside, so this refrigerator won’t have a lock. It will be facing the road and it will have packets of food with dates on them,” he said.

“So anybody who wants to take it, he doesn’t have to come inside.”

Save the life of Mary Jane Velasco! Please take 5 min to

CALL-IN: Indonesian Consulate General (Los Angeles)
Umar Hadi, Consul General (213) 383-5126

“Hi, my name is _______ and I am calling today in order to voice my concern about the case of Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina migrant worker and a victim of human trafficking. Since 2010, she has been unjustly detained and set for execution in Indonesia. We strongly urge that Indonesian President Joko Widodo grant Mary Jane clemency on grounds of mistrial and for humanitarian reasons. She is a mother of two and her family needs her at home. We urge President Widodo to review her case and grant her immediate release. (…include your own reasons to support Mary Jane)” #activism #anakbayan #ab #abla #savemaryjaneveloso #ofw #humanrights #justice #mercy #action #awareness #philippines #filipino #filipina

"Jesus was a good guy."

Let’s get one thing straight:
Jesus was either who He said He was (God), or He was the biggest liar in all of history.
When people say, “I don’t believe Jesus was God, but he was a good guy.” Logically, it doesn’t work out as Him just being a “good guy”. Jesus performed miracles, He treated people with the absolute upmost love and respect. Nobody can deny the impact He had, and the example He set. If He did all of that, and claimed He was God, but actually wasn’t, technically He wouldn’t be good at all.
So He is either who He says He is, or He is a liar.

Jesus said in Matthew 12:30, “He who is not with Me is against me…”

I’ve seen His goodness, and I know Him to be true. The question is, who do you believe He is?

“What Jesus was revealing to the religious teachers is that the law without love (truth without charity), could in itself become a stumbling block, most especially to sinners…And so, Jesus proceeds, time and again, to reach out to sinners in the most unexpected way: without condemnation.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. (John 3:17)

He came to them as the face of love so as to attract them to the Gospel… so as to compel them toward an inward desire and response of free will to love Him in return. And the word for that response is repentance. To love the Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself is to choose only those things that are in fact loving. That is the service of truth: to teach us how to love. But Jesus knew that, first of all, before anything else, we need to know that we are loved.”

- Mark Mallett, Thin Line Between Mercy & Heresy