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20,000 meals by Kazi Manan!

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Kazi Manan introduced a new model of empathy and kindness in America when he opened his restaurant to every person who needs a refuge from their daily hunger. He has never differentiated between a paying or non-paying customer as he is constantly aware of  his journey to success – and the difficulties along the way. Sakina Halal Grill has proudly served meals to the homeless independently and unsupported by any donations from patrons. He has always refused the offers as Sakina Halal Grill has been able to sustain this mission with its own funds and the prayers of the community. 

Due to the pandemic, however, we are underwater and looking to survive this season so the doors do not close on Sakina Halal Grill.  We urge you to read the stories below to learn more. Every cent is equally important in keeping this dream, and important community resource, alive so please do what you can. We appreciate your support and prayers.  

November 13, 2018 

"WASHINGTON, D.C. – From poverty in Pakistan to prosperity in America, a restaurant owner is continuing his mother’s tradition of helping others. He gives food to thousands of homeless people and feeds his soul in the process.

Kazi Mannan owns Sakina Halal Grill, located just blocks away from the White House. But he is more than just the restaurant’s owner. He helps his team by taking orders, serving food, cooking in the kitchen, and greeting customers.

This is how it is for every meal at the Sakina Halal Grill. That’s because Kazi made a promise: anyone who needs a meal, even if they can’t pay for it, is welcome.

“I prayed to God that if I ever have a restaurant, I will announce on the first day that I will bring in the homeless people”, said Kazi. “You can come in hundreds; I will never say no… you’re welcome to eat free with respect and dignity. We will treat you the same.”
Link to the full story -  

2. D.C. restaurant feeds the homeless every day by Caroline Patrickis / ABC7
February 8, 2019 

"WASHINGTON (ABC7) — How does a restaurant keep its doors open while serving free meals to the poor and homeless day in and day out?

It's a question Kazi Mannan, owner of Sakina Halal Grill, asks himself every single day. "That question, I ask God every day. How do I keep my business open, growing, and making a profit?"

Sakina Halal Grill looks like your typical high-end restaurant located just blocks from the White House. During the lunchtime rush hour, many customers flock to the grill for the all you can eat buffet of authentic Pakistani-Indian food.

However, it's anything but just another restaurant.

Beyond the delicious flavors you find, the warm Chai Latte or fresh lemon water, you would never know that homeless people are walking in and out to experience the same thing paying customers are.

"If someone says I need a free meal, OK," Mannan said. He doesn't ask questions and never judges anybody. His policy has remained the same for the last five years. If you're hungry, poor, or homeless, you eat for free. In 2018, he estimates they served over 16,000 free meals."

Full story here -  

3. At This Immigrant-Owned Restaurant in D.C, the Homeless Eat For Free

The buffet-style, halal restaurant, which is undergoing a name change from Mayur Kabab House to Sakina Halal Grill — “It's a tribute to all the mothers around the world," Mannan, who lost his mother Sakina, 26 years ago, says of the switch — has stood the test of time at the corner of 11th and K Street NW, for decades. It’s tucked into the side of a United Methodist Church and located just blocks from The White House.

“I’m the little guy on this block,” Mannan said. “And, I love it. Because I want to say, ‘Hey listen, corporate people and people in politics! Listen to me!’ I want to show them what love can do, and I want to spread a wave of love that touches the lives of millions.”


4. 'It's changed my life': Pakistani immigrant in shock after viral video about feeding poor 

WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Kazi Mannan is still in shock Monday morning after a video on ABC7 went viral.

"It's a big success that it's changed my life in many ways," Mannan said. "It got so much attention from all over the world. I'm overwhelmed and really excited that this message is going viral. What do we do next?"

by ABC7

5. American Muslim Feeds the Needy in his DC Restaurant by Julie Taboh
March 16, 2019 

Mannan helps the needy, he says, because growing up poor in Pakistan, he knows what it’s like to be hungry.

“I have nine siblings and [we didn’t have] much to eat … when you are poor and you [don’t] have things that other people have when you get it, you want to appreciate, you want to share with others,” he said.

His desire to share deepened as he worked as a limousine driver in the nation’s capital. He saw homeless people on the street, day and night, in all kinds of weather — looking for food in trash cans.

The experience had an impact.  
“I don't want to see another human being going through the poverty that I went through. I don't want to see another human being going through the hunger that I went through. I want them to have that feeling that they were being accepted, so they can come and sit here and eat with respect,” he says.

Just like family

His message is simple. Come to Sakina Halal Grill, which is named after his late mother, ask for food, use the restroom, and sit for as long as you want.

“We will love you and respect you the same way we respect a paying guest. We will treat you like family,” he said.

6. Just Give Them a Meal,’ Says Pakistani-American Whose Restaurant Feeds the Homeless (February 27, 2017)

When Kazi Mannan threw a grand opening party for Sakina Halal Grill, his Pakistani-Indian restaurant in Washington, D.C., his friends were surprised that they weren’t included on the guest list. Did he ditch them for a bunch of high-ranking politicos?

No. The VIPs were all homeless. After serving his homeless guests dinner, Mannan invited them to return to the restaurant for a free meal anytime they liked. “At first, they thought I was tricking them.

They thought I was going to charge them. I said, No, it’s not a trick. This place is a symbol of love,” says Mannan.

Full story -

7. DC Restaurant That Feeds Homeless | Kazi Mannan at NEXUS USA

From poverty in Pakistan to prosperity in America, Kazi Mannan opened his restaurant to the hungry, both paying and non-paying customers alike. Today, he has fed thousands of those in need. It is all about keeping his mother's tradition alive.

In this film, Kazi shares his story on the NEXUS USA stage at the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC.  

Youtube Video:  

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Abdul Mannan
Washington D.C., DC

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