UAE: With Dh3,000 salary, Emirati woman cooks up 100 meals daily to feed the needy

Shareefah Al Hosani saves a portion of her earnings throughout the year so she can afford to make the dishes during Ramadan


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Sun 24 Apr 2022, 8:27 PM

Last updated: Tue 26 Apr 2022, 1:39 PM

Emirati woman Shareefah Al Hosani, 56, earns a modest salary of Dh3,000 every month. But no matter how tight her budget is, she has always had enough to prepare 100 Iftar meals for workers and needy families every single day.

Every Ramadan for the last eight years, her humble abode in Umm Al Quwain bustles with clanging pots and pans. Her kitchen — furnished with an old stove, a rusty file cabinet turned into a cupboard, some baskets, and a table — becomes the centre of the house.

With the help of her daughter Al Onood Khalifa and two granddaughters Maha Jassim and Mohra Jassim, she would spread out a mat and neatly line up a hundred empty foil containers which are quickly filled to brim with rice and a chicken dish.

Then, the family packs this main course with a handful of dates and a bottle of water.

“I do it simply out of love. I love giving and sharing with other people,” said the Emirati who works as a school bus supervisor in the emirate. Sometimes, she cooks for others to earn some extra income for her family.

While many people her age would have retired, the 56-year-old keeps working as she is raising the two daughters of her son who died in a traffic accident four years ago.

“I’m also doing this charity on behalf of my late son,” Al Hosani told Khaleej Times.

More than a charity drive, cooking up all these meals every Ramadan has been a devotion for Al Hosani. Workers in her neighbourhood already know that by the time the holy month begins, they can expect some tasty meals to be dished out of the Emirati’s home. Watch Al Hosani prepare the meals below:

The start of a mission

Asked how she’s able to afford all the meals she gives away, Al Hosani said it’s all about love and some budgeting.

“I keep some part of my money throughout the year, so that when Ramadan comes along, I would have enough savings to fund the meals,” she said.

Al Hosani’s big heart has also inspired a lot of people, so much so that many of her relatives and friends hand her donations for her charity work.

She has also taken part in the Iftar project launched by the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, from where she used to get some help. She was one of the families that the foundation has supported for their humanitarian work.

Through the initiative, she was able to buy the equipment she needed to prepare the food. However, the project was stopped because of Covid-19, but she continued her Ramadan drive.

Once all the meals are packed, Al Hosani, her daughter and granddaughters would load them onto their vehicle. Then, they personally deliver the parcels to the workers and needy families. Some would pick them up from their home. In the clip below, Al Hosani and her granddaughters are seen distributing the packed meals:

“I’m happy that I get to do this with my family. This is also a way to limit the children’s use of gadgets and their TV time. Instead, they get to embrace and practise the virtues of the holy month,” Al Hosani said.


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