Strangers helping those in need in Ruwi and Hamriya

MUSCAT: They come under the cover of the night on board cars that eventually stop at residential areas where laborers live. Food pack in hand, they give away dozens of meals to passersby.

It sounds like a plot of a good movie but it does happen here in Oman in the familiar corners of downtown Ruwi and Hamriya. And after sunset, one can easily find these men from Muttrah and Jibroo doing their slices of good deeds in places considered to be the focal points of COVID-19.

Mostly men, the group of 35 is comprised of students, employees, retired men, and job seekers who are all part of ‘Azzahiya’ — an association of the people from this area in Muttrah who come forward to help and support the needy in the society. For a few hours, they will be seen riding through the ally pallies of these places where not much private help reach except from people like Ali Thani.

Here, a retired man called Char Shambe al Balushi, along with students and employees named Mohammed al Zadjali, Ammar al Balushi, and Ali al Balushi and their friends are out on the streets with the food packets awaiting the needy who would come forward to them.

“We have been doing this (distributing foods) ever since Muttrah was put under lockdown and vehicle and people movements were restricted on April 10,” said Char Shambe.

“The beneficiaries of these food packets are numerous and we are pretty sure they really deserve them”, he added.

“A lot of people in Muttrah are not able to go out and buy their provisions and prepare their meals every day just as they did during the pre-Corona period. All we could do was to bring some foods from people who don’t want to be named and feed the needy in the area,” Shambe said.

He is helped by Issam al Balushi, one of his well-wishers who knows Ali Thani for years, along with a group of Omani and expatriate youngsters who volunteer their service handing over the food packs at each doorstep.

A typical food packet in distribution would contain some roty and saloona (bread and gravy) which is sufficient for an individual for an evening.

“In the Holy Qur’an, Allah has said that those who don’t look upon his fellow beings on earth wouldn’t be looked upon by Him in the Day of Judgement. Besides, all the wealth, property, money, name, and fame wouldn’t come with you to the grave but only your good deeds will. Those who believe in these verses can’t be anything different from me.”

Thousands of packets of foods are being distributed thus and it would be costing the donor a huge sum.
“We don’t know who is investing money to do this. Every evening we see a man and a small pick up loaded with foods and we unload the vehicle and fill our cars. We never asked him his whereabouts nor his intention for we know what charity your right-hand does should not be known to your left hand and we let him keep his identity anonymous”, Al Balushi adds.