As temperatures across Qatar continue to soar (reaching 44C today), some local residents are hoping to take the edge off the heat for construction workers and others who work outside.
For the past month, workers near the Chamber of Commerce at Muntazah signal off of C-Ring Road have been enjoying free refreshments left by a Qatari family in a refrigerator outside their house.
Qatar’s midday summer work ban does not begin for another week, so many workers said they are especially grateful to have access to free cold water, laban and juice.
A photo of the fridge was published in today’s Peninsula, sparking widespread admiration of the idea.
During a visit to the house today, Doha News spoke to resident Ali Al Haidar, 14, who explained how the project came about: “It was my Dad’s idea. He saw a picture of a man in Saudi Arabia who had placed a fridge outside his house, and decided to do the same here.”
The refrigerator has been running since early May, he added.
Ali said he and his siblings, or the family’s drivers, replenish the items twice a day – between 8 and 9am, and between 2 to 3pm. In addition to the beverages, yogurt and bread are also often provided.
The move has been welcomed by workers in the vicinity. Speaking to Doha News, Jeebachha Mandal, a Nepalese laborer who works 10 hour-shifts half a block away, said:
“It’s great that they have done this. We really like it, and there are a lot of people who stop by to take things.”
Another worker, who dropped in on the conversation, but preferred to remain anonymous, seconded Mandal.
“I like that anyone can come and take (drinks), and that they fill it up daily,” he said. “It’s very hot, and this is where we can get a cool free drink during the day.”
The workers said they also witnessed other people, across socioeconomic classes stopping by to avail of the refrigerator. “There are engineers and people in cars who come by and drink some of the things sometimes. It brings everyone together,” Mandal said.
This is the first charity project that the family has worked on. Ali said he and his family plan on keeping the refrigerator stocked all year.
“We want to do this from now on. On weekends – Thursdays and Fridays – we even place fruits (in it). Many of the workers have thanked us when we go out to drop food,” he said, adding that people outside of the family, who have seen the fridge, have also started contributing.
“When I have my own home and my own family, I will continue to do this, inshAllah,” he said.
Other organizations around Qatar are also working to help migrant workers out during the summer.
See My Culture, a local volunteer-based organization that encourages artists here to explore themes of “culture, Islam and community using creative mediums (like) photo, film, art, and speech,” has recently launched a Twitter campaign called #WhatIWillDo.
According to co-founder Khalid Al Hammadi, the campaign, launched officially only a week ago, was born out of the desire to make a tangible contribution to the plight of workers in Qatar. Speaking to Doha News, he said:
“We wanted to do something with the community as See My Culture so we thought of an idea…Everyone is tweeting, posting and writing about the low income migrant workers in Qatar. We thought, let us turn words into actions. It is very easy to tweet from the comfort of our homes but ultimately our actions will make a difference.”
The group, along with local community news website JustHere, has released a video promoting the campaign, showing several people handing out bottles of cold water to workers on the street.
The video, filmed two days ago, encourages people to spend QR100, enough to buy a hundred bottles of cold water and help a hundred people.
While initial response to the campaign has been largely positive, Al Hammadi said the goal is to ensure that people act on their words of support:
“We just hope everyone is turning the tweets and support into action! Thats the main goal, to encourage others to actually go out there and spread some kindness.”
Joining the campaign is as simple as spreading the word, buying and distributing drinks to workers in the heat and exchanging a few smiles or greetings, he added.
Beautiful …. this man has heart and is teaching his children to be compassionate and giving….
Not just his children but also his friends, family, passersby and the society in general.
Wonderful!!! Great work.
Kind gesture from this family! Maybe some hotels/restaurants can drop off some of their surplus food to the fridge…I imagine that they have lots of food that they just throw away!…
How cool is that!
Thank you for posting this positive story.
Can you post a location, a map or coordinates? I would like to go and drop some supplies in that fridge, even if it’s only water.
It’s near the Qatar Chamber of Commerce, by Holiday Villa.
Hi Shabina, can u plz share a google maps location that i can click on and follow?
Stunning piece of work by these guys. Credit to them.
Masha Allah, this is good idea, First started in Saudi Arabia, now in Qatar also.We pray to Allah for their health, Wealth and Prosperity. Aameen.
saw them in dubai gas stations
I think what this family is doing is wonderful.
What I don’t find wonderful are the companies that pay their employees so little that they (the employees) have to avail of such services.
Let’s just focus on this family’s kindness and maybe each contribute in our own way. I’m no happy bunny by any means but there are enough articles dealing with low wages, employee rights etc etc etc at length. No offense meant. After all this can be used by anyone, homeless, poor, or even just hot and thirsty as stated in the article, not just underpaid workers
just to add, I fully agree with your statement, was just enjoying reading an all-positive article & commentary for a change
That is an AWESOME thoughtful gesture … God bless this family, they deserve the praise … a perfect example of putting feet to your compassion.
A nice gesture. I hope others follow this example.
Fantastic. What a wonderful gesture. Let’s have more.
Pardon my language but
I love how such a simple, thoughtful idea is picking up!
This is awesome – they should also leave a locked money box somehow so people who can afford it can contribute a little money if they want to…
Great stuff! Perhaps Doha News readers can start something similar? Make a small practical change in the community in addition to online activism? I would be glad to be involved in such an initiative. Just imagine MIMH, Mohammed Al-Banai, DavidRSS8, Desert Witch, A_qtr etc all working together in one accord…..pure heaven!
Wonderful – a small gesture goes a very long way in not only genuinely helping people but in making others think about what they too can do.
May Allah reward this family! What a great way to teach his children the act of charity other than just giving money. I think it’s amazing and I hope news webs like Doha News (who tends to just report all the BAD things in Qatar) will pick up this story and dare to publish the good things that are happening in Qatar as well! Keep up the great work Haider family!
psst…you’re reading this story on Doha News. 😛
Yes it would be great if Doha News published something like this… hang on a minute!
Not fair……Doha News just tends to report more of reality, unlike the constant dripfeed of craven non-stories that pollute so much of the established press here…..Doha News at least challenges, or provides and alternative to, rubbish like, ‘a new Jewellery shop has opened in Ezdan Mall’ or ‘The Emir today met with the departing consul for Tajikistan’….it shows society warts and all, which is how it should be. A free and open press improves society and is nothing to fear.
Yes, you are right Anon! Doha News DOES post stuff that no one else DARES to….I have to give credit where credit is due! Thanks for the POSITIVE article about this wonderful family! It’s refreshing!
Good example, good example. Well done.
Added to this, i think company’s should make things like this refrigerator stock with at least WATER available on site for laborers refreshment. Ministry of Labour should make this compulsory and supervise to check if company’s adhere to the rule..
Is it only one or there are more locations around doha, can someone guide? Would like to drop something.
RESPECT! A wonderful idea!
Amazing. What wonderful people.
Hats off….may Allah bless you & your family.
Kind gesture from this family! InshAllah i’ll do the same.
God Bless you more!