Sumayyah Sayed, a 29-year-old Australian woman living in Dubai, launched a project in early June, to ensure no one goes hungry in the holy month of Ramadan. Her idea was to place refrigerators in easily accessible locations — such as on porches or in garages — and stock them with food and beverages that workers observing Ramadan can use to break their fast. Thanks to her initiative, today residents from across the city are coming together to set up and stock the similar fridges and helping to make food and drinks available to the poor and hungry during the holy month of Ramadan.
“Seeing people work hard in the heat outside, some of them while fasting, made me want to do something — no matter how small,” Sumayyah told The Huffington Post Arabi. The fridges seek to serve gardeners, security guards and construction workers, many of whom work outdoors in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. “Everyone who works in our communities is welcome to it,” Sumayyah said.
The map that organizers have built to plot the growing number of sharing fridges indicates that the project has spread to other emirates, including Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. About 50 fridges are already functional in Dubai, with about 70 in total across UAE.
There are approximately 5 million low-paid migrant workers in the UAE, most of whom are South Asian, live in appalling conditions, and are subjected to rights violations. Inspired by Fikra Yel, a Dubai resident who had a fridge set up outside her house for about three years, Sumayyah started a Sharing Fridges Facebook page to mobilise people around project. It had attracted nearly 15,000 members as of last Thursday afternoon.