On Friday, February 2nd, something so awesome happened that it actually, and against all odds, restored some of our faith in humanity. A new restaurant called “Tekeyat El-Rahman” opened in Cairo and it serves people food for free!
A couple of days ago, we came across this Facebook post which says that someone opened a “100% free restaurant to give away free food to poor people.”
The cynical side of us couldn’t believe it at first! An entire restaurant operating, for free? We had to get to the bottom of it so we contacted the number in the post.
When we called the number, Mr. Tayseer Abdel-Hameed, the operating manager of the restaurant answered.
We asked him about the owner of the restaurant, the idea behind it and how it works; and here’s what he had to say:
“The owner of the restaurant wants to remain anonymous. So I am not at liberty to tell you his name,” said Mr. Tayseer.
Another layer of pure and authentic goodness appears. The man behind this incredible initiative is not actually seeking to receive any credit for it!
If that doesn’t prove the pure intentions behind this act of kindness, what will?
How Does It Operate?
When we asked Mr. Tayseer how Tekeyat El-Rahman operates, he said: “We are open every day from 10 am to 4 pm. We have 5 stars, professional certified chefs who cook 300 hundred meals\sandwiches daily. Right now, we serve lunch every day at 2 pm.”
“We care mostly about making good quality home food. We also offer a variety of meals every day so people wouldn’t feel forced to eat the same thing.”
A bigger surprise was when we discovered that the chefs working in the restaurant are actually getting paid!
When asked about it Mr. Tayseer said, “We can’t make people work for free, just like people need the food, these chefs need their salaries. Also, this helps us make sure the place is operating normally just like any other restaurant.”
It is safe to say, we were pretty much blown away then…
Any Future Plans?
When we asked Mr. Tayseer about Tekeyat El-Rahman‘s purpose and future plans, he said: “Our idea is to send a message that despite how hard life is right now, a small act of kindness can go a long way. To make people recognize that doing something to help those in need is not a luxury or even a charity act, it’s an obligation. We take no pride in what we are doing because it is the normal thing to do.”
He then graciously added, “We hope that by setting an example, more people will start doing the same. If in every neighborhood or small town in Egypt, a store or a restaurant opened for the purpose of serving people free food, we won’t have any more people dying of starvation!”
As for Tekeyat El-Rahman‘s future steps, Mr. Tayseer explained: “Right now, we are only able to serve lunch meals once a day. We hope that soon enough, we can have enough people supporting us, so we are able to provide 3 meals a day instead of only one.”
How Can People Help?
When we asked Mr. Tayseer if they accept donations or help from anyone, his answer surprised us even more! He said “We have a strict policy, we do NOT accept money from anyone. If anyone would like to support what we do, they can provide basic food ingredients such as bread, pasta, tomatoes, onion, cooking oil, rice, or meats of any kind. And if anyone wants to come and supervise the cooking process of what they donated or even cook it themselves, they are welcome. However, everyone must leave before lunchtime so the guests don’t feel awkward.”
I could try to say something nice about this, but I am honestly speechless…
What You Need To Know
When we asked Mr. Tayseer if we can go check out the place ourselves and shoot a video, he graciously agreed to co-operate and let us shoot the place on one condition. We have to shoot the video at least one hour before they start serving lunch because of their “no shooting customers” policy.
We went there and saw how hygienic and organized their kitchen is, and honestly we were more blown away after seeing it in real life.
Mr. Tayseer and the entire staff were very welcoming and helpful. They made it clear that ANYONE is more than welcome to go visit if not to help, then just to eat!
We don’t know about you, but we think it’s safe to say this won’t be our last visit to Tekeyat El-Rahman.
If you would like to join in on this humbling and truly humane initiative, you can call Mr. Tayseer Abdel-hamed on 01152527500 or just go visit. Here’s the address: