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Sunday, November 29, 2020

PHOTOS: Residents flock to tap flowing with free, homemade laban

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All photos by Chantelle D’mello

Despite the heat and ongoing fasting during Ramadan, a Qatari family’s long-standing tradition of offering free homemade laban to the community continues to draw hundreds of thirsty visitors daily.

Over 2,000 liters of the yogurt drink, which is akin to buttermilk, is distributed each day after being produced inside the family’s residential complex, said an employee there who spoke to Doha News.

The laban is stored in chilled metal tanks, and can be accessed through a tap attached to the outer wall of the residential complex near Ramada signal off of C-Ring Road.

The home belongs to prominent businessman Ghanem Al Thani, who also owns the nearby Radisson Blu hotel.

Speaking to Doha News, Sher Singh, a bus driver from India, said he found out about the free laban through friends.

“They told me that a family was giving out free milk, so I came to check it out, and I’ve been coming back since. It’s very tasty…almost like lassi (a sweet Indian yogurt-based drink), and fresh. I’ve never gotten sick drinking it.”

He added that he has seen people of all nationalities stop by for a drink.

Other unique charitable acts here include a local Qatari family that last month installed an outdoor fridge stocked with free water, laban, yogurt and food for residents.

Organizations like See My Culture have also have chimed in to help people in need, encouraging others to give out water and juices to those toiling in the heat.

Timings

Each day, about 200 to 300 people visit the laban tap, which was installed more than 12 years ago, said one employee who has been working for the Al Thani family for the past three decades.

Amir Hamid, a Pakistani expat, added that the tap typically opens at 8am and closes around noon. The laban is made from fresh milk that is brought in from the family’s farm near Al Shahaniya, which houses over 5,000 cows.

While residents from all over the country have visited the complex to collect buttermilk, the number of people usually goes down over Ramadan, because so many are fasting, Hamid said.

Laban tap

Around 9am this morning, more than 20 people could be observed lining up to fill up plastic bottles, massive coolers and cans with the buttermilk.

Ghazni Khan, an Afghan worker who lives on the outskirts of Doha, said this was his first time visiting the tap.

“I heard about it from the people that I lived with. I was surprised I didn’t know it existed before. I’ve been here for 16 years!”

After filling the containers, the men left the tap running, and laban could be seen flowing down the drain. The workers manning the tank explained that this was because there was an overflow of laban inside.

The process

On the other side of the residential complex’s wall, there is a domestic creamery that makes butter and buttermilk.

Huge vats, churners and mixers line the walls, while massive buckets of laban stand in the middle of the room.

The process, explained Gopal Malla, a Nepalese national who has worked there for 14 years, involves mixing yogurt and milk together in a large metal bucket before leaving the mixture standing overnight to ferment.

In the mornings, the milk is transferred into numerous smaller containers, the lids of which are fitted with mixers.

Laban tap

Once mixed, the buttermilk is poured into a tank, which leads to the tap outside.

Residents looking to get a taste should take the first slip road heading from The Center roundabout to the Ramada signal. The tap is located under an awning at the back of a massive beige wall with black gates.

Thoughts?

19 COMMENTS

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Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago

Excellent story. Well done that family.

Ms. Hala
6 years ago

Masha’Allah, love stories like this! Kudos!

Illusionist's wife
Illusionist's wife
6 years ago

Mash’Allah … This is indeed generous and helpful for the poor in this society, and it shows that there are people and families here who do care about them. I haven’t heard of this before, although I am living close by (I won’t use it though as this should only be for those who cannot afford it … ). This made me happy today 🙂

Ali
Ali
6 years ago

I also live nearby and I have heard that he give free camel’s milk throughout year. Or may be it is actually laban and not camel milk?

thedrizzle96
thedrizzle96
6 years ago

People do loads here and equally don’t like to talk about it, which to an outsider may look like it’s not done. Whereas in other parts of the world, people will go on and on about how good helping someone made them feel. Fine line between modesty in giving and encouraging others, hopefully this will encourage others. I kinda want to go try some though, but now you’ve said that, I think I’d feel guilty!

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

Vile stuff

Ben
Ben
6 years ago

Generous of that family though

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Very nice gesture. I’m just waiting for the beer tap to start…..

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

im suprised there are 5,000 cows in doha! probably cheaper to import milk than to manage and feed 5000 cows. interested to see if the baldiya ever dares making a spot check on the place to see if the process is up kept to standard.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

The pictures look pretty good. A friend of mine is a dairy farmer back home and it is comparable.

DooWic
DooWic
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Farm is not in Doha.It is situated near Rawdat Rashid.

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

i doubt ur for real

Jaded
Jaded
6 years ago

this is highly awesome

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
6 years ago

Wonderful gesture, well done.

Desert Witch
Desert Witch
6 years ago

Masha’Allah. What a lovely gesture. Kudos to the family.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

My comments are disappearing all over the place…..

DooWic
DooWic
6 years ago

Sheikh Ghanim Ali Al Thani. He is a good man indeed. His generosity is well known among the workers of his company. Not only this, every single day of the Ramadan vehicals filled with Biriyani reach to the accommodations of the workers of his company.

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
6 years ago

Hats off to Mr ghanem Al-thani..very generous Human being..Alhamdollilah…May Allah (swt) bless him with his good deeds and at the same time i hope people like me and others learn from this generous person. We should do first for the poor before thinking about ourselve.

You shall not attain righteousness until you spend out of what you love (in the way of Allah). Allah knows whatever you spend. (3:92)

Safwan ibn Salim related that the Prophet said: Anyone who looks after and works for a widow and a poor person is like a warrior fighting for AllahÕs cause, or like a person who fasts during the day and prays all night. (Bukhari)

Anas related that the Prophet said: If any Muslim plants something or sows seed from which a man, a bird or an animal eats, it counts as a charity for him. (Bukhari, Muslim)

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Comment gone. 🙁

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