uaebased pakistani donates part of salary to kerala flood victims
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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UAE-based Pakistani donates part of salary to Kerala flood victims

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today UAE-based Pakistani donates part of salary to Kerala flood victims

Rizwan Hussein, 39, from Karachi.
Abu Dhabi - Arab Today

A Pakistani expat who has contributed part of his salary to the Kerala Chief Minister's relief fund to help flood victims, is winning hearts and minds among the Malayalee community in Abu Dhabi.

Rizwan Hussein, 39, from Karachi says prejudices gets washed away when you stand for humanity, and support people who need help.

"I grew up in Pakistan and spent the most of my adult life surrounded by these prejudices against Indians. I am sure, it is the same on the other side of the border too. But when you start living in another country, and interact with Indians, you realise people are all the same everywhere. The borders are in our minds," Hussein told Khaleej Times

"My contribution to the CM's relief fund was a token amount. But the response I got from my friends from Kerala has been positively overwhelming. They were touched."

An insurance professional from Karachi living in the UAE for the last six years, Hussein said he got involved in the situation in Kerala through a Malayalee friend and colleague, who was helping in rescue and relief efforts as floods wreaked death and destruction across the South Indian state.

"My friend Kiran Kannan, a Keralite, was an active member of the remote rescue team they had set up in Abu Dhabi. Though I was out of town and not directly involved, he was updating me on what they were doing to coordinate rescue. I was impressed by the dedication and commitment shown by volunteers like Kiran who were working 24/7 to save people's lives," said Hussein, who is married with two daughters.

When he got back from Pakistan after the Eid holidays, Hussein said he took part in the panel discussion organised by the UAE chapter of Kerala Sashtra Sahitya Parishad, a people's science movement, to evaluate the post-disaster response and future solutions.

"I have learned many lessons through my interactions. The solidarity shown by people of Kerala is a reminder for others that you can make a meaningful contribution even from miles away."

Being a Pakistani, his involvement in Kerala's relief and rehabilitation, Hussein said has made many of his countrymen curious.

"Some are surprised. I have shared my experiences among my Pakistani friends, and I really hope I can stir others into action as well. When Philippines got battered by typhoons, we collected funds because many of our colleagues were from that country. So what is the difference here?" asks Hussein.

He said living in a country like the UAE helps you shed the prejudices and accept people for who they are.

"My first interaction with an Indian family was when I moved to Muscat for my job many years ago. We are still thick friends. Living in the UAE, we all have this wonderful opportunity to break the mental barriers and embrace humanity. I may be a Pakistani. But I believe it is my obligation to help when I see people from Kerala, who are directly or indirectly affected by a natural calamity," said Hussein.

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