It was 32 years ago that three friends realised that there were many people in Athlone who did not have food for their Eid celebrations.
They got together to lend a helping hand.
And this is how the Nakhlistan organisation was started – with only two pots of food – but now, they aim to cook 169 130-litre pots of aknie to feed more than 85 000 less fortunate people on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Nakhlistan is a Persian word that means “oasis” and even though it is a Muslim organisation, it caters for all the needy in the Western Cape no matter their religious background.
Muslims are obliged to pay alms to the needy and during the month of Ramadaan, when Muslims fast from before sunrise to after sunset, Nakhlistan is a vehicle that distributes these alms via food parcels and cooking big pots of aknie.
To sponsor one pot of aknie costs R2 800.
Nakhlistan is a non-governmental organisation and is not state funded. It relies solely on support from the community.
If you would like to witness the cooking of the food, you can go to the Callies Rugby Field in Noll Avenue, Rylands Estate, on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr which is either Tuesday July 5, or Wednesday July 6, and see how 4.5 tons of meat, 3.7 tons of rice, 2.5 tons of potatoes and 1.5 tons of onions together with spices are cooked on wood fire.
This year, Ramadaan falls during the harsh Cape winter months and over and above the cooking of the big pots of food, Nakhlistan will still distribute soup, sandwiches and blankets to areas affected by the winter weather. Another project of Nakhlistan is its operational Soup Kitchen in Gaza, Palestine.
Nakhlistan is operational throughout the year.
Donations can be dropped at 45 Murton Road, Rylands Estate, or you can call Shukoor Mowzer on 021 633 4016 or 083 231 9279, or you can email email@example.com or log onto www.nakhlistan.org.za