Generous benefactors seek to do good by donating money to needy people, charities, and nonprofit institutions. They do so without the expectation of being reimbursed or getting something in return. Benefactors may have several reasons to give away their money, the most important of which pertain to serving people and expressing gratitude to God. Davoud Seiqali is one of these benefactors who has spared no effort to help people in need. He has built several schools because of his love and interest in education. Iran Daily has conducted an interview with him. Here are the excerpts of the interview.
Please introduce yourself to the readers of our news paper.
I was born in 1968. I am married and I have a son. I am retired and live in Tehran. I have been engaged in charity activities since 2000 and I am currently the CEO of Zahir Charity.
What is the most import duty of a benefactor?
Benefactors should encourage people to get engaged in charitable work. I am not a rich man but do my best to motivate people to turn to philanthropic work.
Has your family ever complained about your charitable activities?
Never, my wife and my son have always stood by me. Charity work does not generate revenues for those who are engaged in that. I am a disabled war veteran of the Iraqi chemical weapons attacks (the Iraqi imposed war in the 1980s) but do my best with regards to charity work.
Have you ever thought about giving up philanthropic work?
Never. In my point of view a benefactor never retires. I do not consider myself a benefactor. I am just active in spiritual affairs. By the time I am alive, I will continue my path.
Which groups or people do you support?
I provide support for disabled and sick people, female-headed families and those who are in prison over financial problems. I also make efforts to generate jobs. As the saying goes “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”
Please tell our readers about your sweet and bitter memories?
I would prefer to narrate my sweet memories.
Once I was in a taxi and had a phone call with a woman who was the head of a household. When the driver realized who I was talking to, he gave me all his daily profits and demanded that I donate the money to that woman.
Another sweet memory pertains to the time that our charity institute managed to save a man who had been sentenced to death. The institute paid the blood money and the convict was freed. When he was released, he became a member of a charity group. My bitter memory pertains to the Covid-19 pandemic, during which I lost some of my colleagues.
Your charity activities have appealed to you. Which one has been extremely appealing?
Our charity institute built a school in Pakdasth (a neighborhood in the southeast of the capital Tehran) which was an exhilarating experience and hugely enjoyable. This is because I believe when a school opens a prison is shut. When I saw students at the school at the beginning of the academic year, I was further motivated and inspired to press ahead with charity activities. We seek to focus our charity activities on job generation. We hope we will be able to establish a clinic in a deprived region and purchase modern medical equipment to offer free of charge services to underprivileged people.