Dubai: At Gulf News, we not only keep you updated with the latest coronavirus-related news, analysis and advice, but we also make a difference to the lives of the people who are in distress because of the pandemic. Here are ten recent instances where our stories have had a positive impact.
1) Filipina’s surgery put on hold as dad tests positive for coronavirus (May 9)
Eula Cynthia Enoc, 26, underwent a successful skull restoration surgery on June 3 after several readers stepped forward to fund her treatment. A British expat pitched in with Dh60,000 while a special needs centre offered free speech and occupational therapies. The former assistant teacher at a Dubai school is now making steady recovery.
2) Sharjah: 6 siblings orphaned as both parents die from coronavirus (May 19)
His Highness Shaikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ajman, takes the orphans under his wings by offereing to pay for all the living, educational and social expenses of the children aged between four and 16 years. Several charities also come to their aid.
3) Pregnant Dubai resident stranded in US without medical insurance (March 24)
Hannah O’Reilly, returned to the UAE within five days of our report. The 29-year-old American teacher was visiting the United States to see her family but got stranded due to COVID-19 flight restrictions.
4) Can anyone drive these siblings to Al Ain Hospital? (May 18)
Last month, we highlighted the plight of Farishta, 9, and Naidra, 6, who suffer from thalassemia but missed their doctor’s appointment as both their parents were stranded overseas. Moved by our report, Afghanistan Consul General Masood Azizi made immediate arrangements to fly them back. He also visited the sisters at a house in Sharjah where they were being looked after by a relative.
5) Home-alone Dubai girl mourns dad’s death (May 3)
Hadiya, 17, was left devastated when her dad Inayat Ali died from coronavirus in Tanzania. She had no one to console her as her mum Sabeena Dhalla was stranded in London at that time. Mum and daughter had an emotional reunion at Dubai Aiport after UAE authorities flew back Sabeena, who’s now at her Al Ghusais home with Hadiya, having spend 14 days in quarantine at a Dubai Hotel.
6) Indian man, pregnant wife stranded at Abu Dhabi airport due to coronavirus (March 17)
Indian Rana Mukherjee and Ukrainian Tetyana Poulina, who had to spend a night at the airport, were finally able to travel to Bengaluru after the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi issued a one-month emergency visa to Poulina. The couple welcomed their first baby, Tara, on May 28.
7) Italian woman can’t stay home because she hasn’t got one (March 30)
Readers opened their hearts and homes for former boutique owner Jessica Sirenio who had fallen on hard times. A hotel gave her a free stay while several individuals came to her aid with financial and moral support.
8) Dubai-based Indian couple desperate to bring back daughter stranded in Frankfurt (March 20)
Arshad and Urvi Zaheer were reunited with daughter Milha, a student at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Milha was stuck at Frankfurt Airport in Germany after she was not allowed to board the connecting flight to Dubai due to entry restrictions in the UAE over the coronavirus pandemic.
9) Goans in the UAE seek direct repatriation flight to their state (May 12)
The first batch of 149 stranded Goans flew out from Dubai to Dabolim International Airport in Goa on June 1, under the third phase of India’s 'Vande Bharat Mission'.
10) Workers stuck in UAE feel betrayed by their governments (April 11)
Local charity Dar Al Ber and several individuals came to the rescue of 22 Indian job-seekers who were stranded in Sharjah -- penniless and homeless. Dar Al Ber provided them daily food rations, while some Good Samaritans paid for their accommodation and arranged for their flight tickets to return home.