Dubai: Humanity knows no borders or politics in the UAE. We saw it in action once again when an Indian man helped a Pakistani national in a moment of crisis.
It was a nightmare for Taimur Hassan, when he returned to Dubai from a late night flight and noticed that he had lost his passport on his way home, but a fellow Indian expatriate came to the rescue.
On September 27, Hassan took a flight back to Dubai from Karachi after visiting family and friends.
With the typical hassle and anxiety that comes with travelling, Hassan was making his way back home from the airport when he misplaced something very important – his passport.
The HR professional, who has been living in Dubai for the past four years, took the Dubai Metro from the airport to GGICO Metro Station to get into an RTA Udrive vehicle parked next to it.
I was carrying my luggage with me when I was coming out of the Metro station, I dropped it when I was juggling several things.
“I was carrying my luggage with me when I was coming out of the Metro station, I dropped it when I was juggling several things,” Hassan said.
Tired and sleepy, he reached his home in International City, only to find out that his passport in his handbag was no longer there.
“Straightaway then I went to GGICO Metro Station to see if I lost my passport there somewhere in the parking are but all in vain I couldn’t. I then went to Metro station inside which was already closed but a Dubai Police officer, he opened the Metro station for me and he went upstairs on both platforms to search for my passport but he couldn’t find it,” said Hassan.
However, Dubai Police gave Hassan the hope he needed.
“The police officer calmed me down and said that I need not worry, I will get my passport back very soon and told me that Dubai residents are very cooperative with each other, someone will return it. He gave me some sort of hope I really needed at the time,” he added.
Tracking his steps, he next made his way back to Dubai Airport Terminal 1 and searched for the passport. Upon failing to find it, he filed a request in the lost and found section as well as visited police officials at the airport.
'Hoped for a miracle'
“I chose to wait for 24 hours before filing a formal complaint with the police as that could result in my passport being listed as lost and it would be difficult to travel for a while right after I attain it and requires other paperwork to be done once it’s found,” said Hassan.
Defeated, he chose to go home and “hoped for a miracle”.
“At 2:30am I went home and I was extremely tired but couldn’t sleep. Also I had to report back to my duty on Saturday, at 8am,” he said.
Saturday, September 28, went in vain for Hassan.
“I had slept for four hours and the whole day I was unable to concentrate on my work,” he said.
Hassan said that the only thing he thought was left for him to do next was to pray.
“My biggest concern was that if something happens to my family back home in Karachi and I have to travel, I would not be able to,” he said.
One lucky call
Sunday morning, September 29, the receptionist at Hassan’s office received a call from a caller, Aji Kumar, who claimed to have “something important Taimur Hassan had lost a few days ago” and required a call back as soon as Hassan received the message.
As soon as Hassan heard the news, he was ecstatic.
“I called him back and he asked me, ‘brother did you lose something couple of days back which is very important for you?’ I was shell shocked and I said yes, my passport,” said Hassan.
Gulf News spoke to Kumar and the 50-year-old IT specialist said: “For security reasons, I didn’t immediately want to reveal what the item was and wanted to hear it from him [Hassan],”
Kumar and Hassan decided to meet at the former’s workplace where Kumar had kept his passport safe.
“He [Kumar] joked: ‘Brother you lost your passport and how were you sitting at your office?’ and asked me how I lost my passport and we shared laughs. The people at Kumar’s office also joked about an Indian finding a Pakistani’s passport and safely returning it,” Hassan said.
The duo also took a picture together.
I really don’t have words to explain how relieved I felt when he returned my passport in my hand.
“I really don’t have words to explain how relieved I felt when he returned my passport in my hand,” said Hassan.
Kumar said that he was relieved to have found the owner and “could feel the stress he was going through”.
Finder seeks help of Pakistani middleman to track owner
Kumar said that his daughter and he found the passport at a parking lot near GGICO Metro Station.
“I was coming back from Gitex Shopper through the Dubai Metro at around 12:30am on Saturday with my daughter, walking to my car in a parking ground, we spotted a passport laying on the floor. When I saw it was green, I immediately knew it belonged to a Pakistani. I first checked the validity, I could imagine the pain the person who lost it would be feeling,” Kumar said.
Next, he took the help of his Pakistani colleague, Usman Afzal.
Now it is a tensed time between the countries, I told him [Hassan], everything happens between leaders for their political mileage, for everyday people, like you and I, there is no animosity.
Afzal helped him track down where Hassan worked.
“I read the name of the company he worked at on his visa and called their office, and got Kumar to contact Hassan,” Afzal said.
UAE expats stick together
“Now it is a tensed time between the countries, I told him [Hassan], everything happens between leaders for their political mileage, for everyday people, like you and I, there is no animosity,” Kumar said.
Hassan had similar sentiments.
“Nowadays, our countries are in a tense situation but in Dubai, things are really different. We choose to live in peace,” said.