Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Story of Abdul Aziz

Not the most powerful machines...
When you live in Dubai, you can’t help but notice that labour can be cheap.

Those skyscrapers that would take ten years to get out of the ground in the West are up, sparkling and lived-in before you can say ‘UK Planning Permission.’ And it’s not just construction that is affected by these wages: you can have anything delivered here, whether from the local supermarket or an upmarket restaurant.   

Delivery drivers are a common sight, whizzing around, often precariously, along the 12 lane horrorway that is Sheikh Zayed Road, on scooters little more powerful than your average self-respecting woman’s hairdryer.

I recently had the humbling pleasure of getting to know one of these lovely riders. He warmed my heart and his story is worth sharing. He is a courier driver and his name is Abdul Aziz.

Abdul Aziz is from India. 

He rides a moped up and down Dubai, all day long, all year round.

He puts up with temperatures of 50 degrees , and/or humidity of 90% as he goes about his work.

He lives a two hour drive away from the city, so starts his day at the crack of dawn.

He shares his room with five other people.

He earns 3000 dirhams a month (around 600 British pounds).

He has a beautiful three year old daughter who is the apple of his eye. 

His phone is packed with photos of her which he proudly shows you at any and every opportunity.

His wife died in childbirth, leaving him alone with his daughter. She now lives with his sister back in India.

He is entitled to one flight home each year, and can visit his daughter for one month a year. One month.

I have never heard Abdul Aziz complain about anything...his job, his life, anything.

On the contrary. Abdul Aziz is always smiling. He is one of the most cheerful people you could ever hope to meet.

If I’m having a particularly bad day, I think of Abdul Aziz and he makes me happy and thankful. He's a lesson in happiness, gratitude, and peace.

We could all learn something from him.

1 comment:

Shalini said...

That's a beautiful yet sad story. Not everyone has it in them to see the bright side of things so clearly.