Of a Rare Breed!

Of a Rare Breed!Of a Rare Breed!

A piece of paper stuck behind the glass window of a baker’s shop on the way from Azadi-Navab crossroad to Jomhuri Square in central Tehran, displays a caricature of a man with empty pockets urging the needy “to take home some ‘nan’ (Iranian flatbread), even without money. It’s for the needy, the needy only.”

Hashem Abbasi is the 49-year-old baker who wishes for everyone to have at least a loaf of bread to sate their hunger. Every day, from the moment he opens his shop until the last loaf is baked, he offers free bread to those who cannot afford it.

He does not let down a single needy person because at one time he experienced the pangs of hunger when he was a conscript far away from home.

Since the year 1986, he has been serving fresh hot ‘Barbari nan,’ a type of flatbread to his needy customers free of charge, he told Mehr News Agency.

A butcher might not be able to offer free meat as it is expensive, but bread is rather cheap and can fill the stomach of many easily,” says Abbasi.

“Why would I shun the hungry or leave them in embarrassment just for a loaf of bread as cheap as 10,000 rials or less than half a dollar,” he asks.

There is also another person who belongs to this rare breed of people.

Ali Asghar Musakhani, 53, is a kind-hearted bus driver who does not charge school students, conscripts in uniforms, police officers, the elderly and those who appear poor, for a ride.

He has been driving a bus from Jomhuri Square to Karimkhan Bridge for about five years, a route taken by many school students, some alone and some accompanied by their mothers.

“Over the years, I realized that commuting expenses are high and some families can hardly afford it. So I give free rides to help those who feel the pinch.”

He is courageous since he can put himself in great trouble as he has to pay the charge for hiring the bus every day from his earnings through transporting passengers.

He gives free rides to between 30 and 40 passengers everyday on average, and believes that God will bestow His blessings “somewhere else in his life.”

“I want to make everyone happy and when I see them smile I have earned my reward!”