The host restaurant of Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon him) is a head start on the rest of the holy shrines' host restaurants, extending the table of generosity and blessings as its the host of the symbol of tender, loyalty and selflessness, offering food that is a blessing and healing for its visitors and the visitors of the shrine of his brother Imam al-Hussayn (peace be upon both of them), complementing his approach and generosity represented by him (peace be upon him) in all its forms in the battle of at-Taf, as he is the fetcher of water for the thirsty ones of Karbala.
To find out more details about the work of the host department and its services provided to the visitors, al-Kafeel Network met with the Department head; Mr. Kadhem abd al-Hussayn 'abadah, who has stated:
"The host restaurant of Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon him) is one of the oldest host of the holy shrines in the whole Muslim world, as its construction was inaugurated in the year 1980, and after the fall of the dictatorship, some maintenance and restoration works were conducted as well as organizing some administrative matters. And with the blessings of the Owner of generosity, the building of this host was opened with its new look as one of the departments of the Secretariat General of the holy shrine in the birth anniversary of the Moon of the tribe Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon him) on the 3rd of Sha'ban 1424 AH to provide food to the respected visitors. And our ambition did not stop at this point, as we hoped for the expansion of the host area, and actually with the expansion project of the holy sanctuary a space was allocated to expand the host lounge that is now accommodating 700 visitors at each meal after that it was able to receive only 150 visitors, so we've been able to receive almost ten thousand visitors per meal at lunch time and less than that at dinner time."
He added: "The host restaurant of Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon him) that occupies a good place in the hearts of the visitors from the host of the rest of the holy shrines in Iraq and abroad, is seeking to give the optimum image of the Arab hospitality through its management and its five divisions that are:
- 1- Administration Division: It consists of three Units: The financial Unit, Office Unit and Drivers’ Unit. It manages the administrative work and supervises the audit of purchase receipts and the administrative and financial transactions in coordination with the Department of Finance, in addition to the organization of work shifts and the execution of the administrative orders issued by the holy shrine management.
- 2- Hospitality Division: It consists of three Units: Ceremonies and reception Unit, General Services Unit and Arabic Coffee Unit. This division is the responsible of the cleanness of the host and all its annexes, and of the services provided to the visitors from entering the restaurant of the Hashemi generosity until leaving it.
- 3- Food Division: It consists of Kitchen Unit, Butcher unit and Bakery unit. It has the most skilled cooks who prepare the best Iraqi dishes of different kinds to the visitors.
- 4- Cooperative shop Division, which specializes in providing the employees of the holy shrine with different types of food in exchange for a supported price by order of the holy shrine management.
- 5- Al-Kafeel Hospital Division that prepares food for the medical staff and the patients of the hospital."
Indicating: "We offer lunch for three to five thousand people except during the days of Ziyarat and Friday's eve that can reach more than ten thousand meals. As for dinner, we have stopped providing it since the launch of the blessed fatwa of the supreme religious authority as we started providing food to the fighters, and we had the honor to reach all military troops. During the Ziyarat of millions we provide tens thousands of various meals to the visitors, as we have more than an outlet to distribute the food to the outer roads to the visitors arriving on foot and on all axes leading to the holy city of Karbala."
Adding: "We have opened a group of restaurants of al-Kafeel bounties, which specialize in providing meals at subsidized prices as we have noticed that the visitors coming to ancient city for the Ziyarat of the shrines of Imam al-Hussayn and his brother Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon both of them) desire various kinds of food. The first branch is located near the checkpoint of al-Hawra (peace be upon her) and the second branch is located at the end of al-'Alqami Street."
As for the sources of financing the host and the mechanism of visitors' entry. Mr. Kadhem has said: "Financing the host is done in two ways. First by the receipt of a financial advance by the holy shrine management, while the second is from the gifts and vows of the visitors of the holy shrine. As for the entry of visitors to the host of the holy shrine, it is performed in three methods: First by the distribution of the cards of host to the visitors without distinction from seven o'clock in the morning to ten o'clock. Second through the department of gifts and vows, as every visitor that donate any kind material or other is given a host card for him and his family. Third, through the Department of Public relations that invites orphans institutions, civil society organizations and the families of the martyrs and the injured fighters."