Hany Harb, chef patron of well-known Gżira restaurant ‘Ali Baba’ is in talks with internationally-renowned Lebanese chefs to set up a donation kitchen producing 15,000 meals a day to feed the Beirut explosion victims.
The explosion, which has since claimed the lives of at least 135 individuals and injured 5,000 others, could be felt from Cyprus, 150 miles away.
Harb, who was born in Lebanon but has been living in Malta for the past 33 years, has family living in the south side of the country – luckily, they were not physically impacted by the explosion.
Nonetheless, Harb said, the incident’s aftermath is set to significantly impact the country in more ways than one.
“The situation in Lebanon has been worsening over the past couple of years,“ Harb told Lovin Malta. “The economy isn’t good, business isn’t good – but now we have people dying of hunger and thirst.”
“The situation is worse than it was in war times.”
In light of this, Harb and a number of Lebanese chefs stationed around the world – including a Michelin star winner in South Africa – made the decision to join forces and help out the Lebanese public in whatever way they could.
Although the plans to set up this food bank are still in their early stages, Harb is considering going to Beirut himself to cook for those in need.
“This has all affected me emotionally, I feel like I’ve got nothing to give to my country,” Harb said. “The least I can do is cook for the people.”
The Lebanese chef was overwhelmed with the support he received from the Maltese public following the Beirut explosion, saying how he received upwards of 1,000 messages over a plethora of social media channels following the incident.
Updates about this incentive and how the Maltese public can offer their help are set to be released throughout the coming days.