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KT impact: UAE cart puller overwhelmed by offers to sponsor Iftar, Suhoor meals

Khaleej Times had earlier reported on how Khaleeq Ahmad maintains his fast despite working long, strenuous shifts under the sun



By SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Thu 21 Apr 2022, 11:13 AM

Last updated: Thu 21 Apr 2022, 11:37 AM

For Pakistani cart-puller Khaleeq Ahmad, Eid came early this year, and blessings poured in the form of Iftar and Suhoor during this holy month of Ramadan.

"I received my Eidiya way before Eid this year," said an emotional cart puller after receiving sponsorship for his iftar and suhoor meals. Eidiya is the tradition of giving gifts or cash to younger members of the family by older relatives, family or friends to mark the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

Khaleej Times reported how Khaleeq and thousands of other cart-pullers in the bylanes of Deira sweat it out under the blazing sun and yet, fuelled by an all-consuming love of God, they "cannot think of not fasting in this auspicious month."

Readers from several cities worldwide and in the UAE, moved by the determination of these curt pullers, reached out to help them.

Khaleeq Ahmad (L) with his friend.
Khaleeq Ahmad (L) with his friend.

Khaleeq and his friends were thrilled to learn about the impact Khaleej Times' news report made. "I am quite surprised that people read about us and are willing to help. May Allah accept everyone's worship during this holy month of Ramadan," said Khaleeq.

Pointing out how thankful he is to those who helped him with Iftar and Suhoor, Khaleeq said, "I don't know the people who have provided me, I have never met them, but I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart."

"Your kind donation has helped me treat my colleagues and friends for Iftar, which is also a great form of worship," added Khaleeq.

Khaleeq Ahmad sharing his Iftar with colleagues.
Khaleeq Ahmad sharing his Iftar with colleagues.

He did not just keep the sponsorship that came by to himself but decided to share it with his friends and colleagues. "We sometimes get meals from people, and when we don't get them, I call them over to break fast."

According to Khaleeq, people offering meals to them surged after Khaleej Times reported the story on April 9.

With the little amount Khaleeq and his friends saved after receiving sponsorship for their Iftar, they have sent the money to their families back in their home country to celebrate Eid in a special manner this year.

Khaleeq said that the cart pullers are privileged to be residing in Dubai.

"(This is) A city that helps people and I have heard about the '1 Billion Meals' initiative. Considering how people help here without anyone's knowledge, I am sure the campaign's number will cross beyond the estimation."

Our readers inquired via emails and calls about ways to help these cart pullers, and a few business partners of Khaleej Times also reached out to us for their contact details.

Farah, residing in the UAE, asked, "I want to donate Iftar and food and rations to this man (Khaleeq). Is there a way I can get his contact details, or could you help me reach him, please?"

Another reader from the US said: "Is there any way to raise awareness with local shopkeepers or business community to help these people with some money, decent food for Iftar at least?"

Furqan mailed us, saying, "I read your article about Khaleeq Ahmad; it was very heart-touching. Can you please let me know his exact whereabouts - contact number or address?"

Imran, from Canada, enquired, "A very heart-warming and eye-opening story. I live in Canada and try to help people as much as possible with my limited resources. I want to connect with Khaleeq Ahmed, help him financially, and arrange daily Iftar/dinner for him and his friends."

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Ramadan is a time for prayer, fasting and reflection. But the holy month is not only about giving up food and water; it is also about giving back to the community. We thank our generous readers who have come together in the spirit of Ramadan to help these modest cart pullers.

ayaz@khaleejtimes.com


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