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'I just want to see a smile': Afghan refugee delivers free pizza to frontline hospital workers

The pizza shop is based in Rosehill, which is a short drive away from the hospital. Source: Supplied

Noticing the battle being fought by frontline hospital workers against COVID-19, the owner of a western Sydney pizza shop decided to assist the best way he could.

Helping frontline hospital workers during the COVID-19 crisis is the “human thing to do” for Afghan refugee Abdul Hay Amiri.

After all, he too was given a lifeline when Australia opened its doors to him and his family in 2002, as part of a humanitarian visa program during the first years of the war in Afghanistan.

Mr Amiri runs the family-owned Sopranos Gourmet Pizza restaurant and although he has seen a 30 per cent drop in sales due to the current crisis, he felt compelled to help frontline health workers at Westmead Hospital’s intensive care unit by delivering free pizzas.

"We used to deliver to them every single week, and lots of doctors are my customers since the pandemic started. I haven't heard from them and tried to get in contact with them to see if I could help them out," he says.

Abdul Amiri delivering pizza to Westmead hospital health workers.
supplied

After several attempts, he finally got permission to deliver to the health workers who are providing the most needed service around the clock.

"I heard they have started working long hours, 14-hour, 15-hour shifts, and I decided to help them out.

“Obviously, it is a human thing to do."

On his first delivery, the head of the hospital’s ICU came out to thank him in person.

"It was very pleasant to go out there, the head of ICU at Westmead Hospital came out herself and thanked me, they were very happy.

"It is a good thing to see them smile, after a 14 or 15-hour shift. I just want to see them smile.

"They are basically at war, they are at the frontline, and they are the ones more exposed to the virus than any of us."

Mr Amiri says that as long as the pandemic is around, he will stay open and continue to deliver to the hospital.

He’s encouraging others in the food industry to do the same.

“If you can help out, extend the help at this tough time as there are a lot of vulnerable people out there that we can extend our hand and help, we can also help by simply just staying at home and not doing anything at all."