RAK man with no address

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RAK man with no address

I am 82 years old and I have dignity, my memories but no home. I did have a house once but it became so dilapidated that I felt it was in danger of collapsing on me and I am pretty fragile, too.

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Published: Sat 18 Dec 2010, 12:52 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:56 PM

I couldn’t risk staying. The place was in the old Ras Al Khaimah area but you wouldn’t live in it, either. No furniture, no amenities, not even running water. So I did what any smart person would do. I picked up my one woollen blanket to guard against the weather and moved onto the streets of RAK where I have now been ‘residing’ for the past seven months. I have a name. A noble name. Abdul Rahman. I also had a job once, working in the Ministry of Education and I still get my pension from there.

When the sun goes down and the night comes riding in I lie down on a bench in the outer space of a small restaurant and cover myself from the world with my blanket. After 82 years that is all I possess. I am not unhappy about that, in fact I am content.

Actually, it isn’t that uncomfortable and I do not seek pity though I am grateful for the amazing generosity of those who cross my path on any day. Emiratis ensure I get enough to eat and Asian expats have sort of become my friends in that they stop by for a chat or we sip a cup of tea together.

Sometimes, I do wonder what happened to the time, it just fled so fast. I have no family, no relatives, no progeny, they have all passed on, so I guess everyone who gives me a few moments is my family. In that sense I am richer than all my tribe.

Off and on, I do find memories fading away and I try hard to recollect wisps of the past but it isn’t easy. I have seen great changes, all these new things so different from our simple lives in the old days. Yes, I hear less and I am not so sure that is a bad thing, it is all this noise by cars and trucks.

What really bothers me at this moment is not the lack of a roof over my head, that was my choice, but the trouble I am having with my eyes. They water a great deal and that gives me some discomfort. It gets a little blurry sometimes and I am planning to get it seen by a doctor but where is the money, I don’t have it. Maybe, one day I will get enough together or someone may help me, till then I shall survive. Now it is time for me to go to bed, it has been a tiring day and thank you for talking to me, I enjoyed it.

(As told by Abdul Rahman to Sebugwaawo Ismail)

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