Moroccan generosity and hospitality continues to prove its transnational dimensions.
Rabat – Moroccan restaurant Almunia, based in Valencia, southeastern Spain, has launched an “altruistic initiative” by distributing Moroccan dishes for free to Spanish hospitals, Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported.
The initiative aims to provide warm, delicious meals to health professionals on the frontlines of Spain’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The restaurant’s owner, Abdul Draoui, considers the COVID-19 crisis “as the best time to help those in need, and especially to recognize the work of people who are … on the frontlines.”
Draoui started the solidarity initiative by offering free meals at his restaurant for health workers, including doctors and nurses, as well as security officers, every day between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
“Health workers, thank you for your work against COVID-19,” he wrote on the initiative’s announcement poster.
After the program’s success, the Moroccan business owner decided to upscale it and started distributing meals to the hospitals of Valencia.
“We have already done it in several medical centers, yesterday we went to the University Hospital and tomorrow we will go to La Fe [Hospital]. We want to help those who help us and, at the same time, promote our culinary culture, although it is already widespread in the Valencian community,” Draoui said.
Almunia restaurant has also distributed food at the Health Center of Naples and Sicily, in central Valencia, El Mundo reported.
“Primary care is absolutely essential in the control of the pandemic and, in the coming weeks, it will become even more important. For this reason, we wanted to pay a tribute to [health workers] and show [them] our love,” Draoui explained.
Moroccan cuisine exudes “sight, smell, and taste, which merge into a tasty delight of different dishes, with contrasting flavors between the sweet and the salty, the bitter and the spicy,” the Moroccan gourmet commented.
Spain entered its second month under a state of emergency in May. The nationwide lockdown, first enacted on March 30, is set to end on May 9.
The Iberian country has recorded the second-highest COVID-19 case count in the world, with over 240,000 cases, including approximately 142,000 recoveries and nearly 25,000 deaths, as of May 2.