The owner of the Uzbek Navruz restaurant in Kharkov, the head of the Uzbek diaspora, Shakhobiddin Yusupov, from the very beginning of the war, has been preparing free hot meals for the residents of the city. A report about this was published by Nastoyashaye Vremya.
The history of the Navruz restaurant and its owner became known thanks to a photo circulating on social networks with two destroyed Russian armored personnel carriers, behind which is a building with a Navruz Hotel sign.
The story of the Navruz restaurant and its owner became known thanks to a photo on social networks with two destroyed Russian armored vehicles, behind which is a building with a Navruz Hotel sign.
The restaurateur Shakhobiddin Yusupov has been living in Ukraine for 25 years and is not willing to leave, despite the military conflict in the country. According to Meydan Mukhamedyarov, the owner of the hotel was born in Kyrgyzstan.
“Why have I settled here? I studied in Tomsk, worked in Perm, worked in Moscow,” Shakhobiddin Yusupov told the Nastoyashaye Vremya. “But when I [came] here for the first time, I fell in love with this city in three days… Here, 80% of people speak Russian. Why is Kharkov holding on? Because everyone helps each other as much as he can. We have always cooked. That's why we decided to help by cooking meals."
“Kharkov has become a second home for us. We must pay tribute to the people who once welcomed us here, received us cordially. Therefore, we decided to stay to help Kharkiv residents in this difficult moment,” said Meydan Mukhamedyarov. He himself was born in Turkmenistan.
Meydan Mukhamedyarov said that the Navruz restaurant is one of two establishments owned by Shakhobiddin Yusupov. At Navruz there was also a mini-hotel, but now it is out of business.
According to Meidan Mukhamedyarov, there are almost no employees left at Navruz today. Only he and his wife work, as well as Shakhobiddin Yusupov's relatives.
The team wakes up at 6 am every day and starts preparing lunch. People come at noon, get food. Then the workers are again taken to work.
“There is enough work. We help everyone who needs it - we deliver. We work until 6 pm, and then we have a curfew.”
The menu includes traditional dishes of Uzbek cuisine: pilaf, mastava, shurpa, as well as field soup.
“Other dishes, you know, require a lot of time and ingredients, we can’t get everything right now. But in general, there are products in stores, there is no shortage. We buy everything ourselves, and the state helps us a lot with logistics, provides water and electricity - it's worth a lot. We do not need any financial support at the moment,” said Meydan Mukhamedyarov.
He added that in general, all public services are working in the city. “You go out into the streets and rejoice that such a big city continues to live. This whole situation brought us together very much, everyone helps each other.”
It is possible to cook 600-800 servings per day. Meals are also sent to hospitals and territorial defense troops. “More than 300 people come to us every day: many old people, lonely people, someone takes with them an extra portion for disabled relatives who do not have the opportunity to come themselves,” the restaurant manager said.
“Shots and explosions are often heard near the restaurant, fighting is everywhere here, but in case of a special threat, we have a shelter. In general, the safest place now is the subway, ”said the restaurant manager.
“We have only one plan now – to celebrate the victory as soon as possible,” added Meydan Mukhamedyarov.