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Kebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To Stop

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 23 Nov 2019 12:32
Kebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To StopKebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To StopGleneden Kebab/Facebook

A kebab shop owner in New Zealand has been feeding homeless people for free on Sundays out of the kindness of his own heart.

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However, others businesses in the area have asked him to stop the selfless act, over concerns it will attract ‘anti-social behaviour’.

Shop owner Zuhaib Abbas Bangash feeds homeless people from 5.30pm every Sunday afternoon at his Gleneden Kebab takeaway in West Auckland. His generosity has, however, now attracted criticism from the Glen Eden Business Association, who have told Bangash to stop.

Kebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To StopKebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To StopGleneden Kebab/Facebook

According to the business association, the shop owner’s project was raising ‘concerns’ other businesses may suffer because of the homeless people coming to the area.

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Speaking to New Zealand site Stuff, Zuhaib said:

They said they were not happy with what I was doing. They said all the homeless will come here and other businesses will go down.

According to the shop owner, he promoted the event on social media, and didn’t want to turn hungry people away.

Last Sunday, November 17, for example, 23 people apparently turned up at his takeaway to enjoy a free meal. As Zuhaib said: ‘I am doing a good thing. I’ve already promised I would do it, I can’t stop now.’

Kebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To StopKebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To StopGleneden Kebab/Facebook

Zuhaib has been living in New Zealand for the past eight years, after leaving his native Pakistan when his home district of Parachinar came under Taliban control. His wife had sadly died three months before he left, and Zuhaib took the decision to leave his children with their grandmother as he went overseas to earn a living.

He arrived in New Zealand with nothing but $20. After working his way to having his own kebab shop, Zuhaib’s children were able to join him in Auckland a year later.

The shop owner said his homeless project was ‘one small thing’ he could do to give back to the community, as he said he knew what is was like to struggle. And though this is the first time he’s officially opened his shop to feed the homeless, Zuhaib said he’s never turned anyone away who has asked for food.

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Kebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To StopKebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To StopGleneden Kebab/Facebook

Zuhaib said:

They are not bad people, I know they have a bad reputation, but they just want to eat. They need food, I have food – this is $600 from my own pocket every week.

Why am I being told to stop? I know they leave here very happy.

Zuhaib said he chose Sunday evenings for his project as the area is usually quietest then, with fewer people out and about. However, Glen Eden Business Association town centre manager Jennifer Conlon said their concerns over his project have been misinterpreted.

Kebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To StopKebab Shop Owner Who Feeds Homeless At His Restaurant Told To StopGleneden Kebab/Facebook

Conlon said the association is looking to introduce a ‘broader scheme’ to help those in need, and ‘create an environment’ to support everyone in the town centre.

Zuhaib believes, however, any effort to feed the homeless – from one kind kebab shop owner to a larger community project – should be supported.

As he said: ‘A lot of bad things happen in Glenmall, I know that, but we can’t judge anyone. I am going to keep doing this, I will not stop.’

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Life, Food, homeless, Kebab, Meals, New Zealand, Takeaway

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Stuff
  1. Stuff

    Kebab shop owner told to stop feeding homeless