Reinventing the American Dream

Kazi Mannan

Sakina Halal Grill is not just a restaurant.
It is a safe place for every person who needs a refuge from their daily hunger.

Kazi Mannan introduced a new model of empathy and kindness in America when he opened his restaurant, Sakina’s Halal Grill in Washington, DC. 

Join us and hear more from Kazi Mannan and how he responded to the global pandemic that shuttered his restaurant doors.

Named after Kazi Mannan’s mother, the story of Sakina Halal Grill dates to 1996 when he came to the US from Pakistan in pursuit of the American dream. He worked day and night, through tough jobs to make both ends meet for his family. It was through this 24/7 hustle that he came face to face with the miseries in the streets of the nation’s capital – those who were homeless, searching for their daily meal.

This engraved in him a desire to SHARE, but it was not until 17 years later that he was able to realize this dream when he opened his restaurant in 2013, a few blocks away from the White House.

Kazi’s vision for Sakina Halal Grill is to serve people with halal Pakistani – Indian food in Washington, DC. He has served almost 80,000 free meals to the homeless since 2013 – around 80 free meals per day, keeping the spirit of giving back to the community alive and growing.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, when the world shut down, the restaurant was deserted as well. For the first time in 5 years, the restaurant was quiet, and business was dangerously slow. However, with a GoFundMe fundraiser which raised over $300,000 in two weeks, and the support of our community, they are once again able to fulfill the restaurant’s vision.

Kazi wants to use the money raised and help other restaurants in adopting same model. Kazi and his team will give provide mentoring support alongside mini grants and media resources.

His dream is to have restaurants doing the same thing in 50 states and then in world one day. The focus is on ending hunger and finding creative solutions to reach the goal