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Palestinian restaurant provides 900 meals to Afghan refugees arriving at Manchester airport

August 31, 2021 at 10:58 am

People believed to have recently arrived from Afghanistan stand in the courtyard of a hotel near Manchester Airport on August 25, 2021 in Manchester, England [Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]

A Palestinian restaurant in Didsbury, Manchester, 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.”

READ: Afghan woman gives birth on board Turkish Airlines evacuation flight

Earlier this month the government announced it was taking 20,000 Afghan refugees through an official resettlement programme 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.

The scheme is running parallel to the Afghan relocations and assistance policy (ARAP) under which Afghans who worked for the British army and the UK government in Afghanistan will be eligible for relocation.

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.

Roughly 14,000 have been evacuated by British forces from the country in less than two weeks and are in quarantine in hotels near the airports. Pregnant women and young children are arriving with nothing or simply small bags with few belongings.

Some 114,000 people in total have been evacuated from Afghanistan since 14 August.

18 million Afghans, half the country, need humanitarian assistance and roughly 3 million are internally displaced - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

18 million Afghans, half the country, need humanitarian assistance and roughly 3 million are internally displaced – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]