Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 3 April 2020

Coronavirus: UAE residents rally together to support the community

Individuals are coming forward with bright ideas to help others while practicing social distancing

Ms Khan gently tosses hygiene products to workers while keeping social distancing. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Ms Khan gently tosses hygiene products to workers while keeping social distancing. Chris Whiteoak / The National

From waiving rent payments to distributing free hygiene products, Emiratis and UAE residents have rallied together to counter an unprecedented coronavirus outbreak with acts of kindness and community strength.

While governments in different emirates have introduced measures - including suspending tenant evictions and reducing utility bills – to lessen the financial burden on the public caused by the virus, individuals are also coming forward to lend a helping hand to the vulnerable.

Hena Khan, a Pakistani mother who lives in Dubai, is working with her family and close friends to distribute hand sanitisers, rubbing alcohol and Dettol to low-income workers.

“So far, we have distributed more than 400 products to drivers, gardeners, car washers and delivery boys,” Ms Khan told The National.

Keeping social distancing in mind, Ms Khan and her volunteers have been gently tossing the products to the recipient while standing two-metres apart, or from her villa’s balcony.

Dubai mum Hena Khan is distributing free hand sanitisers to low-income workers. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Dubai mum Hena Khan is distributing free hand sanitisers to low-income workers. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Her family members and friends have contributed products, but a firm called ‘Racheme Fze’ supplied the hand sanitisers.

“Low income workers can’t afford these sanitisers or disinfectants. We, as a community, can make sure to help, at least, those in our community. We are benefiting the entire community by making sure those who can’t afford are donated the products,” Ms Khan said.

Elsewhere in Dubai, Emirati landlord Mohammed Al Khudri has waived a month’s rent for his Italian tenant.

He said it was his “social responsibility” to help out while the world tries to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

The tenant, who works as cabin crew for Emirates, has received a 25 per cent salary reduction for three months as part of her firm’s response to Covid-19.

Her landlord has saved her Dh5,300.

“I believe many people can be inspired by this act and do more than what I did and help others,” Mr Al Khudri said.

Ayesha Sohail, a Pakistani mother in Sharjah, is using her social media skills to help low-income families.

She operates a Facebook page, called ‘UAE Fusion Socialites’, and is encouraging some of her 19,658 group members to donate groceries.

She and her husband, Sohail Iqbal, leave the groceries outside of the homes of the needy families to maintain social distance.

Ajman, United Arab Emirates -  Sharjah couple Sohail Iqbal and Ayesha Sohail are distributing free groceries to needy families. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Sohail Iqbal and Ayesha Sohail distribute free groceries to needy families. Chris Whiteoak / The National

“Everyone sends basic groceries like rice, floor, oil, lentils, spices, butter, powdered milk, tea and juices,” said Ms Sohail, who has distributed food items to 20 families this month.

“People should think of the less fortunate people, especially those working on daily wages. Each individual can help others during this pandemic by giving sanitisers, masks, gloves, basic groceries and fruits.

“It can lift your mood and leave you feeling inspired. In addition, an act of kindness can make someone’s day.”

Updated: March 27, 2020 08:35 AM

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