Asif Durrani, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE, Zia Ul Hasan, President of the Pakistan Association, and Javed Jaleel Khattak, Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai, present four-year-old girl Qurratulain with an award during the Pakistan Day Awards Ceremony at the Pakistan Association Dubai on Friday. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Four-year-old Qurratulain never knew she would be honoured in front of hundreds for an honest deed.

The kindergarten pupil at Pakistan Islamic Higher Secondary School in Sharjah was recognised on Friday after she returned an envelope containing Dh13,000 (about $3,515) which she found on the street -- and made sure that it was returned to its rightful owner.

The girl’s father, Atiq-Ur Rehman, told Gulf News that his daughter is in the habit of picking up pieces of papers which have Arabic writing on them, thinking it might be verses from the Quran.

And that's how she picked up the envelope from the street as she was going to school with her mother early one morning. As it turned out, the girl had found Arabic writing on the envelope's cover.

Qurratulain gave the envelope to her mother saying that she should take care of it.

Her mother was startled when she found Dh13,000 in the envelope. She informed her husband and all of them went to the Buhaira police station in Sharjah to return the money.

Police found the person who had lost the money: an Arab student who had lost the cash meant to pay his school fee.

The police officer was very pleased with the girl and asked her if she wanted anything.

Police car ride

“I want a ride in the police car and a picture with a police uncle,” she said and was assured by the officer that her wish would be granted.

“My wife and I are very proud that my daughter was honoured for her honesty as it is a lesson for all children to follow in their life,” Rehman said and thanked the association for their recognition.

Qurratulain stood tall as Asif Ali Durrani, Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE, handed her the Pakistan Day Award for her honesty at a jampacked gathering organised on Friday by the Pakistan Association in Dubai (PAD) at its premises to mark the National Day of Pakistan.

A total of 12 Pakistani community members who excelled in their fields while working in the UAE were awarded.

Durrani also gave presented Pakistan Day awards to others who were selected by the PAD for their distinguished services.

They included Saher Shaikh, volunteer; Ashfaq Ahmed, journalist at Gulf News; Jameel Khan, journalist; Zamarud Khan, journalist; Zahoorul Islam, poet; Aisha Memon, student; Dr Mohammad Hamed Farooqi, Director Dubai Diabetic Centre; Rafiq Ahmad; finance professional; Abdul Gaffar Aboobaker Fancy, chartered accountant; Sajjad Haider, chartered accountant; and Alai Javid, nurse.

Dr Zia-Ul Hassan, president of the PAD, said that Pakistan Day Awards are the most prestigious honours for the community members who are chosen by the special committee formed by the association. The awards are given in recognition of individuals for their services in any field of interest reflecting a positive image of Pakistan in the UAE.