KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian born woman living in Canada has been devoting years of her life cooking for the needy in Montreal.
Thirty years ago, Johor Baharu born Sabariah Hussein completed her courses in international cuisines in Kuala Lumpur before moving to Canada where she found passion in cooking for charity and has not stopped since then – not even after suffering two mild strokes.
A video of an interview Sabariah, 70, gave to online media Zinc has been making its rounds on social media recently, and checks found that she has also been interviewed by Canadian newsportals in the past.
Sabariah said it all began with her involvement in the local Muslim community activities in Montréal, Canada, after having been already heavily involved in charity work back home with her own large family.
With a team of about 20 volunteers from local colleges and universities, Sabariah prepares food daily for nearly 400 people for churches and mosques from her apartment in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a borough in Montreal, Quebec.
In an interview with Montreal Gazette during the fasting month of Ramadhan this year, Sabariah or Sister Sabria as she is more affectionately known as, shared her dreams of “helping the needy, the homeless, the ones that really need help.”
“In Islam, you have to be united, more than ever,” she told the Montreal Gazette.
“That’s why I want to do something good. I’m not seeking popularity, but I want people to know that we Muslims are good people, too, that we do a lot, too.”
However she is slowly becoming popular there for her charity work but told local media who have been interviewing her that it was not popularity she was seeking but rather to do good deeds that transcend gender, religion and race.
According to the interview with Zinc, Sabariah at one point, had to turn down an offer to meet Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as she was too busy serving the needy.
She did however express hope that she would get the chance to meet him someday and make him her favourite noodles, Malaysian style.
Sabariah also works closely with the Human Concern International, a Canadian-Muslim charity helping her fund an orphanage to assist the Rohingya population.
She financially supports herself and her charity work from food she sells after Friday prayers at the Ummah mosque on St-Dominique Street.
Sabariah describes her charity work as working with Allah SWT as she does it without getting paid. – MO