The Scottish Muslim couple winning hearts amid coronavirus crisis

Grocery shop owners in Falkirk donate PPE to health workers, food to the elderly and even Easter eggs to local children.

Jawad Javed and his wife Asiyah
Jawad Javed and his wife Asiyah

It is not even 9am, and a queue has formed outside Asiyah Javed’s grocery shop in Falkirk, Scotland.

Key front-line workers and NHS staff are waiting for her to hand out free care packages full of masks, gloves and hand-sanitiser, items they desperately need during the coronavirus outbreak.

Dozens of NHS workers have died of COVID-19 and although the UK government downplays any correlation between the shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and the deaths, healthcare workers across the country are struggling to cope.

For them, it is a matter of life and death, and that is why Asiyah and her husband Jawad stepped in to help.

“Instead of selling masks, I thought it’s better to donate them to the NHS because they need it more — they’re saving lives,” 34-year-old Asiyah says.

“The staff said they’re happy to pay because they’re running short, but I tell them they don’t need to pay because they’re doing a great job. We can’t take money from them.”

As the coronavirus lockdown tightened in March, Asiyah witnessed an elderly woman crying outside a supermarket because she was unable to afford necessities.

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