Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 May 2020

Coronavirus: Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed personally thanks Pakistani volunteer

Crown Prince promises a hug for resident Rashid Khayer for helping Abu Dhabi Police during the disinfection drive

A volunteer who gave up his time to translate for Abu Dhabi Police during city wide disinfection programmes has been thanked by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces thanked Pakistani resident Rashid Khayer during a virtual Majiis on Thursday.

“Brother Rashid how are you?” said Sheikh Mohamed during a video conference call.

“My brother Rashid I promise you something: if God gives us life it will not be through this screen.

“For all of you, it will be close-up and with a hug, I promise you that.”

Volunteers were invited to tell their stories of working across Abu Dhabi during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Khayer, who usually works at Abu Dhabi Airport, was selected as a police interpreter to help with blue collar workers because of his capacities with multiple languages.

The role was particularly important as thousands of workers of south Asian nationalities have had their accommodation disinfected to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Khayer, who has lived in the UAE for 30 years, gave an account of his experiences working with police and what motivated him to volunteer.

“I entered a labour accommodation and one policeman was trying to explain to them that we were there to help them and do tests [for coronavirus],” he said.

“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 were there to help them and they would take them to the hospital if they were sick and give them free medication and care, all provided by the UAE government.”

Mr Khayer said he volunteered to make life easier for police by building a bridge between workers and the authorities.

In an earlier briefing, Sheikh Mohamed emphasised the stay at home message for families during the Eid Al Fitr holiday.

*This story has been amended since initial publication

Updated: May 23, 2020 12:07 PM

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