Restaurant owner fed emergency workers for free during Westminster attack

Ibrahim Dogus opened his restaurant to emergency service workers to give them shelter and food. He prepared over 500 meals and gave them all out for free, and didn't stop until the last person was fed

By Lee Cook / 27 March 2017
1 min read

On 22nd March 2017 an Islamic Extremist attacked pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, and then attacked a policeman in Parliament Square. The papers, understandly were dominated by stories of the terrorist Khalid Masood (born Adrian Russell Elms) but it is a story of a completely different nature that has captured people's imagination.

Muslim born Ibrahim Dogus owns the Kurdish restaurants Troia, Cucina and Westminster kitchen. All three of his restaurants were inside the exclusion zone which had been cordoned off by the police in the moments after the atrocity.

Mr Dogus was instructed by the police to evacuate and close his restaurants. However, he decided that his restaurant Troia on Belvedere Road, should be kept open so that emergency service workers had a place to eat and keep warm.

“I went to one of the officers and said 'I can shut all the businesses, but I want you guys and all the emergency staff to use this place for food, drinks, and for warmth for free',” he told The Independent newspaper.

“All these great people need our support. Some of them tried to give us money—one said, 'I'm a police officer, you have to take my money.' We said, 'We're not going to take any money from you.

Mr Dogus kept the restaurant open until midnight ensuring that every police officer was fed. Mr Dogus estimates that 500 meals were served across the different emergency services.

“It could have been any of us killed by these lunatics,” he said. “It's so terrible, but London has pulled together very quickly. The first day after business was quiet but now it's back to normal.”

This story, is one of many featuring ordinary people carrying out extraordinary kindness.

The terrorist's motive is to cause disharmony and promote hatred. He hoped to tear a city apart. Instead, in the days after the event, London was a city united. A city united in peace, tolerant of one another's views. Life returned to normal and because of individuals like Mr Dogus, the stories and images we will remember of that day are ones of love, and not ones of hate.