Dubai: Most feel sorry when they see people in trouble, but hardly anyone comes forward to actually help.
However, 14-year-old Hyder Ali decided to play a proactive role when he saw a long queue of stranded people waiting outside the Dubai National Air Transport Authority (dnata) office in Dubai for tickets to go back to Pakistan. “I felt very bad when I was going with my father in our luxury car and saw dozens of people standing in the sun in this heat. My father told me that they were people stranded in the UAE due to the COVID-19 fallout and were waiting to be repatriated. Many of them did not have enough money to buy air tickets,” Hyder said during a media interaction at the Pakistan Consulate General in Dubai on Tuesday.
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A Grade 10 student at Dubai College, Hyder from Pakistan spoke to his parents the same day and made his intentions clear — that he wanted to raise money to buy tickets for as many needy people as possible.
Helping the destitute
“I know about the repatriation campaign launched by the Pakistan Consulate, but I thought more action was needed to help people,” he said.
He, along with his father Kazim Ali, a banker in Dubai, met Pakistan Consul General Ahmed Amjad Ali who appreciated Hyder’s initiative and encouraged him to help the destitute people.
“I raised Dh75,000 in two months with the help of our family friends and my father gave me Dh10,000 to launch my campaign,” he said. With this fund, at least 50 to 60 people can travel back home.
Young Hyder could not believe the encouraging response he got from his family and friends. “I am touched to see how generous people in the UAE are,” he said, expressing his gratitude towards all those who had contributed towards this noble cause.
Certificate of appreciation
Ali’s mother Aliya Ali said that she was totally taken aback by the response from family and friends. “I never thought that his campaign would be so successful. And above all, Consul General Ali was very supportive,” she noted.
Consul General Ali said that he was touched by the passion of young Hyder who had a big heart to help those in need.
He also honoured Hyder with a certificate of appreciation and announced that Hyder would be the ‘brand ambassador’ for a Pakistani school in Dubai. Money raised by Hyder will be spent on buying tickets for poor Pakistani expatriates who wanted to go back home.
Though the repatriation process for stranded Pakistanis has been completed, the consulate in Dubai has still accepted requests from around 100 people in need of free tickets to travel back home. “We are helping such people with the help of community members,” he added, the consul general added.