Rashid volunteers with Abu Dhabi Police. Image Credit: Video grab

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, during his virtual majlis on Thursday invited a number of volunteers from around the UAE and listened to their stories and expressed UAE's gratitude for their efforts during COVID-19.

One of the volunteers was Rashid Khayer, an expatriate, who came to the UAE with his mother when he was a child. Rashid stayed in UAE for 30 years, and now he works at Abu Dhabi Airport.

Rashid's knowledge of different languages came in handy during the disinfection program of worker accommodations.  Rashid now helps Abu Dhabi Police during their visits to labour camps in different parts of the city.

"I volunteered with Abu Dhabi Police to be a bridge between police and the people who don't understand why the police came to them."

Rashid was very happy to see Sheikh Mohamad and to speak to him. He expressed his happiness and thanked Sheikh Mohamed for the virtual meeting. In turn, Sheikh Mohamed surprised him and told him: “I promise you my son, a real hug and a meeting when this is all over.”

Rashid told a story that lingered on in his mind. "It was 3am when I entered a labour camp with the police. One policeman was trying to explain to them that we are here to help you and do tests. But the labourers thought they did something wrong and were worried and afraid.

“That’s when I came in and explained in their language that police is here to help you, and will take you to the hospital if you are sick, they will give you free medication and care, all provided by UAE government.”

Rashid added: "That’s why I volunteer, to give back to UAE.”