All photos by Chantelle D’mello
As part of ongoing efforts to reach out to customers in need, Gulf conglomerate the Ansar Group has set up a free food table in Al Khor.
The company’s counter is located at the Ansar Mall, which sells groceries, furnishings and clothing.
The supermarket currently stocks the counter twice a day with laban, yogurt, bread, pasta and tomato sauce. When it’s hot outside, a refrigerator there also includes free water and other beverages.
While laborers make up the majority of people who use the counter, some families also benefit from it, said Ziad Mounir, the mall’s assistant showroom manager.
Speaking to Doha News, he said:
“We see many families come and take things. We don’t look at what they take, or see how much they take. It’s for what they need.”
Despite its distance from Doha, Mounir said that numerous people from Al Khor, Al Thakira and Simaisma avail of the counter.
The initiative was launched on June 26, and is the the brainchild of the company’s chairman, Ali Akbar, a Qatari businessman.
“We started this when we opened the first Ansar Mall in Dubai in 2003. It’s part of our religion – to give back to the underprivileged. From Dubai, it spread to Bahrain, and now Qatar. Wherever there’s an Ansar mall, with a supermarket, we have the counter.”
He added that a second counter is scheduled to open by year-end in a new 40,000sqm Ansar Mall at the Barwa Commercial Avenue near the Industrial Area.
Extending a hand
Though Qatar is considered one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita, many of its residents struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis.
Charitable efforts to help those in need are not uncommon here.
Earlier this year, a Qatari family in Al Muntazah began regularly stocking a refrigerator outside their house with beverages and food, inviting the public to take whatever they need.
Another Qatari family continues its long-standing tradition of providing freshly made free laban to members of the community.