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Moscow's Kremlin is reflected in Christmas-tree decoration balls hung on a Christmas tree in Red Square on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. New Year's is the biggest holiday of the year in Russia. (AP Photo/Misha Japaridze)

A Muslim-owned restaurant has offered to feed the elderly for free on Christmas Day


A Muslim-owned restaurant on the outskirts of London has offered to feed the elderly and homeless a three-course meal on Christmas Day. 

The restaurant, Shish, told CNN the gesture was inspired by an encounter with a woman who lived in the neighborhood and came to the restaurant asking for someone to help her close a window she couldn't reach. 

Restaurant staff didn't hesitate to help and the woman returned the next day to thank them. She also told employees she'd be alone on Christmas.

The restaurant's owner, Serdar Kigili, told CNN the woman's predicament struck a chord with him and reminded him of his mother in Turkey, whom he hadn't seen in five years. 

From there, he hatched a plan to bring Christmas cheer to those in need and those who wouldn't be with loved ones during the holidays. 

Kigili posted a hand-written note on the front window of his restaurant that read: "No one eats alone on a Christmas Day! We are here to sit with you. 3 course meal for the homeless from 12-6pm. Any homeless or elderly are welcomed."

The message was tweeted and posted to Facebook and has been shared more than 1,000 times. 

It's not about religion, language or culture. It's about community.
Irfan Can Genc told CNN

The restaurant's message also prompted more than 25 residents to volunteer to help out that day. A group of taxi drivers even volunteered to shuttle people to and from the restaurant free of charge, according to CNN. 

Genc added that he hopes the store can be an example for everyone in the community. 


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