Expat's mission to feed 2,000 workers this Ramadan in UAE
Eljammi Gozalli has a social media following of nearly 300,000 and wants to spread a message of awareness.
The holy month of Ramadan is a time of patience, self-reflection, forgiveness and compassion.
For 25-year-old beauty entrepreneur Eljammi Gozalli, who moved to the UAE from Azerbaijan 11 years ago, giving a helping hand is a top priority in Ramadan.
In fact, the beauty guru, with a social media following of nearly 300,000, has made it her mission to feed 2,000 workers in industrial areas this month. What's more, she is using her online platform to spread messages of awareness and hope.
"If just five people from the hundreds of thousands of followers respond and feel inspired to do something good for others, I'll feel I have done my job," Gozalli told Khaleej Times.
"At the end of the day, if you want to do something, you will find a way," she added.
Gozalli, who is also the founder of GlamJam Beauty Academy, certainly found her own way. She and a team of four other women from her company drive to industrial areas, park their vehicles, pop the trunk and begin their duty in the sizzling summer heat, hours before Iftar.
"We go out and stop right in the centre of the industrial area. Once I open the car trunk and the workers spot the boxes, they immediately know that we are about to distribute meals to them. I can tell you that many of the workers were really surprised to see a group of girls, giving out food," she said.
Seeing the appreciation and smiles on the workers' faces itself is motivation to continue her mission, she said. More than 200 meals were given out on her first mission this Ramadan, and she hopes to increase the number to 2,000.
On the first day of distribution, there were more than 300 workers waiting in line, Gozalli said, adding: "I wish we could have fed them all: it was a lot of people and quite overwhelming."
After raising awareness about her mission on Instagram, some of Gozalli's followers decided to step up and give a helping hand, by either volunteering to distribute food along with her, or by donating to the organisation in charge of cooking and packing each meal.
Gozalli added that it is crucial for those who are able to spread their voices on social media, to do so, and not merely to entertain or become successful.
"I started moving into the entrepreneurial side and giving panel talks on women's empowerment, so I don't wish to stick to that 'blogger' role. It's true, everyone knows me as a beauty expert, but transitioning into something greater is important."
Helping feed 2,000 workers this Ramadan is a challenge she has taken on, both for herself and the workers, as a reminder to not take life for granted. "This initiative not only helps the academy team bond together, but also helps appreciate what we have."
"Sometimes, living in Dubai, we get so caught up with success and the things we 'want' whereas we already have all that we need."
Everyone in the UAE can show the spirit of Ramadan, by lending a helping hand to those in need. "I want others to feel inspired to help and volunteer from their hearts," Gozalli said. "If you have the chance and the ability to do something for others, then you should. It's not about how much you do, but your will to do it."
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