SHARJAH: An Indian woman in Sharjah is hoping to harness the power of social media to find a Lebanese man who went out of his way to help his father when he came to the UAE nearly four decades ago.
Keralite Nisha Ponthathil has put up an emotional post on Facebook describing the bonding between his dad PK Vijayan and his benefactor Izam Al Hussain with whom lost touch in 1984 and hasn’t heard from since.
Ponthathil said her family wants to reconnect with Hussain so that they could thank him for giving a job to his father and treating him like one of his own.
Now living a retired life in Wayanad, a rural district in Kerala, Vijayan came to the UAE in 1981 on a tailor’s visa when he was 25 years old. However, he was duped by a recruitment agent and ended up as a construction worker in Al Ruwais, around 240 km west of Abu Dhabi City.
“The conditions were tough. But my father had no choice. He was saddled with not just a loan but also the responsibility of feeding his family back home so he braved it out for almost a year-and-a-half until a worksite accident wavered his determination and he decided to quit,” Ponthathil wrote on Facebook in her native Malayalam language.
“It was then that my dad met Hussain who hired him as a salesman in his fruits and vegetable shop located inside Adnoc Housing Complex in Al Ruwais. The two struck an instant rapport. Soon, Hussain handed the reins of his shop to my father. Within a couple of months my father proved that the faith reposed in him was not misplaced. As business flourished, Hussain hiked my father’s salary and also provided him a good accommodation. Their relationship went beyond that of an employer and an employee,” she said.
After working at the shop for two years, Vijayan went to Kerala for vacation. At that time, India was still reeling from the 1984-anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of the country’s prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Due to personal reasons, Vijayan could not return to the UAE. “Hussain sent my father several telegrams and letters offering him a better job, but nothing could change his mind,” said Ponthanthil.
Over the years Vijayan worked in some gulf countries but could never contact his ex-employer.
However when he visited the UAE recently to meet his daughters the floodgates of memories suddenly opened.
“My father would regale us with stories of the wonderful time he had working for Hussain and how he go that extra mile to ensure his well-being. One day, he fished out an old picture of him posing alongside Hussain’s brother Imad who was also equally fond of my father. That picture prompted me to write this post and I hope in this era of social media I can find my Pappa’s old employer. Unfortunately we don’t have any photograph of Hussain. I request readers to keep sharing this story of love which sans borders religions and languages, till it reaches someone who knows that man who my father perceives as a symbol of humanity,” she said.