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Surrey restaurant donates profits to support relief efforts in Turkey and Syria

Chaiiwala of London’s Surrey locations donated net profits from March 9 to Islamic Relief Canada
Funds raised will go towards Islamic Relief Canada’s relief efforts in Turkey and Syria. (Photo: Chaiiwalaca/ Facebook)

Chaiiwala of London’s two Surrey locations are donating all their net profits from Thursday (March 9) to Islamic Relief Canada’s work in Turkey and Syria.

Shiraj Kothiwala, a Newton resident and the owner of Chaiiwala restaurants in Canada, said they chose this organization because they have seen the organization’s work firsthand. Kothiwala told the Now-Leader that when the floods hit the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley in November 2021, Islamic Relief Canada was on the ground in Chilliwack and Hope providing relief.

Kothiwala said they are not just providing aid to one group or nationality but to anyone who needs help.

“They actually go to places like Turkey themselves, and they’re more hands-on and giving out whatever they raised,” Kothiwala said. “If it’s funds, if it’s clothing, or canned goods or anything like that they actually go do it themselves.”

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked wide swaths of Turkey and neighbouring Syria on Feb. 6, killing more than 2,300 people and injuring thousands more as it toppled hundreds of buildings and trapped residents under mounds of rubble or pancaked floors.

Mujahid Ahmed, the Metro Vancouver fundraising co-ordinator at Islamic Relief Canada, told the Now-Leader the organization has been on the ground in Turkey for more than 10 years and Syria for more than 20. Ahmen said since the earthquake, Islamic Relief Canada has helped 880,000 people, providing cash vouchers, hygiene kits, food hampers and clothing.

All six Chaiiwala locations across the country participated in the fundraiser. Kothiwala did not want to say the total amount given.

Chaiiwala of London originally started in London, England before opening stores in Dubai and Canada. Known for its Indian street food, the company is planning on opening two more restaurants in Surrey in the next four months.

– With files from Associated Press

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Anna Burns

About the Author: Anna Burns

I started with Black Press Media in the fall of 2022 as a multimedia journalist after finishing my practicum at the Surrey Now-Leader.
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