Dubai: The smiles are back on the faces of Husain’s family. On the edge of a precipice with no food to eat and nowhere to go until last week, the family is now faced with the proverbial problem of plenty.
After XPRESS highlighted their plight in its cover story on November 8, Ishtiaq Husain has been contacted by nearly 1,000 readers offering money, food, clothes and so many job propositions he couldn’t decide which one to choose. Eventually, he took up a Dh4,500 job offer at a real estate company in Palm Jumeirah.
“My phone has not stopped ringing. I am overwhelmed by the response and deeply indebted to everyone who has helped me,” said Husain as he readies to legalise his status and start life afresh.
Rendered homeless and penniless after a series of catastrophic events Husain approached Dubai Police with his pregnant wife Zainab on October 21 and begged authorities to put them behind bars along with their two small children so they didn’t starve.
When they were turned away, they spent two nights in a park on near empty stomachs. On October 31 Husain and Zainab borrowed Dh30 from an acquaintance and took a cab to the XPRESS office to get their story across.
By Wednesday afternoon, the family got over Dh55,000 in cash. “Cutting across barriers of religion, ethnicity and nationality people flocked to my house in huge numbers with money, food, clothes and essential supplies. They drove in the dead of night from as far as Fujairah, Al Ain and Abu Dhabi. An Arab couple brought a pram for our third child due this month, an Indian gynaecologist offered free treatment for Zainab, a Pakistani family gave us utensils, a British expat brought toys for Haider and Rida and there were innumerable job offers. The list is long…,” said Husain.
Editor-in-chief of XPRESS and Gulf News Abdul Hamid Ahmad said the staggering response is a measure of both - the newspaper’s credibility and Dubai’s generosity. “Dubai is a city that truly cares and the help extended to Ishtiaq has once again reinforced that fact.”
“News is what happens to people and it’s stories like these that has endeared XPRESS to the community,” said editor Bobby Naqvi.