Women in NE Syria provide free meals to orphans, poor families

This report by Renîm Ehmed was published by Jinha Women’s News Agency on 22 April, 2022

Metbexa El-Firdews (El-Firdews’s Kitchen), a charity organization, has provided free meals to orphans and poor families since its foundation. The organization distributes free meals to anyone in need during Ramadan.

Metbexa El-Firdews (El-Firdews’s Kitchen) is a charity organization founded in 2018 in the city of Raqqa to provide free meals to orphans and poor families with the motto, “We distribute meals”.

In the beginning, the organization distributed only bulgur, rice, and oil to orphans and poor families but then, it began to distribute meals due to worsening economic conditions in the city. The number of families receiving meals from the organization was 40 but now the organization distributes meals to more than one thousand families every Monday and Thursday. During Ramadan, the organization distributes meals every day. The organization has built a new kitchen to support the displaced people in the city. The kitchen has been run only by women. 27 women work in the kitchen; 18 of them work full-time while nine of them work part-time.

“All women working in the kitchen are volunteers”

Maha El-Hesen, the manager of the El-Firdews’s Kitchen, told us that they continue to work for the people of Raqqa and forcibly displaced people. “I have worked in the kitchen since 2018. 18 women working in the kitchen are volunteers. We work from 6.30 in the morning to 16.00. We cook meals and distribute them every Monday and Thursday. But now we distribute meals every day due to the month of Ramadan. During Ramadan, we work until 17.00.

No one returns empty-handed

Stating that their organization has distributed meals to about two thousand families, Maha El-Hesen said that they distribute different meals every day. “Today, our menu is meat, bread, fruits, and dates. Our aim is to help orphans and poor families. Sometimes, we give money to the families to support them. We support everyone coming to our kitchen.”

Fatima El-Ehmed is the chef of the kitchen. “The kitchen has two parts. One is for the forcibly displaced people living in Raqqa and the other is for the people of Raqqa. No one returns from our kitchen empty-handed,” she told us.

She has received free meals from the kitchen for three years

Zehraa El-Mohammed has received free meals from the kitchen for three years. “For about three years, I have been receiving free meals from this kitchen every Monday and Thursday for my family. I have six daughters and a son. We live in a house without a roof,” she told us.