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Rising to the call of duty during Eid: (Clockwise) Jhoan Aviguetero, Dr Osman El Labban, Mohamad T H Hussein, Mohammad Hamdi and Ataullah. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Eid-Al-Fitr is a time of celebration for Muslims. All over the world, families spend time in festivities and bond with their loved ones and close friends.

For some professionals, however, it is business as usual. Unwavering in their commitment to duty and work, they cxontinue to serve with a smile.

Best Eid gift

Filipino beautician Jhoan Aviguetero working at Lux Ladies Salon is spending her Eid doing what she loves most – beautifying people. Jhoan is a staunch Muslim who kept her Ramadan fast while working. Come Eid, she says she knows no better place than at her workplace. “I love making people look beautiful through make up, hair-style and treatments. Eid-Al-Fitr is always a super busy time in the salon. I have been working through last day of Ramadan and will be doing so through Eid as we have many customers coming at this time for treatment.”

Jhoan said women come to the salon to apply Henna on hand, get their hair styles done. “They come to get a makeover and we are here to give them what they want. When I see my customer walk away looking so beautiful, it is the best Eid gift to me.”

A privilege to work

Ambulance driver Ataullah Khan Gulsher Khan, who works with Zulekha Hospital, is another Muslim on duty during Eid. “I have been working in Zulekha Hospital for 29 years now and this is my second home. Being away from the family during Eid is not easy. Since I don’t have anything else to do, I am happy to be at work today. I have been given the privilege by Allah to serve my colleagues and patients at Zulekha Hospital. Any emergency with patients will need my presence, so I am happy to be serving and doing my job to the best ability I can on this special day.”

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First Eid in Dubai

Egyptian male nurse Mohammad Hamdi is also spending his first Eid in Dubai serving patients inside an Emergency Room (ER) of Prime Hospital, Dubai. Hamdi worked on eight to 12-hour shifts through the holy month of Ramadan. He now spent Eid-Al-Fitr with his patients in the ER.

Hamdi, 30, who moved to Dubai in February from the town of Ismailia, Egypt, is spending the first two days of Eid on duty.

“In the ER, it is about saving precious lives and all days are alike, be it a festival or otherwise. This year, I am away from my wife and child. I am living here alone in the UAE. Therefore, I am spending my Eid weekend with patients who need me,” said Hamdi. “For those in the medical profession, the hospital is like an extended home, and we are always looking to bring empathy and relief to patients who are like family members.”

Hamdi said: “Back home, the entire community comes together to celebrate Eid. The women of the community work hard to prepare a lavish spread. There is a lot of love, laughter and bonhomie during Eid. I am going to miss that. But I think my dedication to work and serving my patients brings about a greater sense of satisfaction.”

Great satisfaction

Another paramedic nurse Mohamad T H Hussein working for NMC Royal Hospital Sharjah said: “Healthcare is a profession where commitment to ease the pain of the patient is the most important duty. Eid is a special day to celebrate after a month of fasting and nursing and nurturing someone back to health provides me great satisfaction. Working on Eid when most of my family is on holiday makes me miss them but they are proud of me and the work I do.”

Two days in a row

Lebanese expat doctor Dr Osman El Labban, a Family Medicine consultant at Saudi German Hospital in Dubai, could not agree more. The long-term Lebanese expatriate in the UAE is spending 12 to 14 hours on duty for two consecutive days during the Eid Al Fitr holidays this time.

He is working on the second and third days of Eid and attending to his patients.

“Eid is one of the biggest festivals, but nothing is bigger than duty. I am looking forward to serving my patients,” said Dr El Labban, who hails from Beirut but has lived for 28 years in the UAE.

The father of three said: “The UAE has been my home for nearly three decades now. I feel it is not my second home, but my first one. I am happy to be able to serve patients here even on Eid days.”

Happy feeding the community

A restaurant supervisor at Food Circles, Mirza Muktar is also working on the second and third day of Eid.

Mirza Muktar

“My family is away from me. I could not think of a better way to spend my Eid than working and serving people.

"Being in the restaurant business, you get to feed many people. During Eid-Al-Fitr, I feel happy to be doing this for the community.”