Visually-impaired lady among ‘Unsung Heroes’

DUBAI — Najiba Hassan Ghareeb, a special employee at the Residency Section, Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department, was recently honoured with Dubai Government Excellence Award in the Unsung Heroes category.

By Mary Nammour

Published: Wed 30 May 2007, 9:09 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:30 AM

Though visually-impaired, Najiba works with determination and does not allow anything to bog her down. A graduate from the UAE University in Islamic Studies, Najiba had to struggle a lot in her studies because her teachers “were not very understanding.” “I used to find it difficult to convert the scientific material from regular writing into Braille. They used to set the date of exams without considering my special case, but thank God everything worked out well.”

The zealous lady works from 7.30am to 12.30pm everyday. “My job entails entering details of all the stamped passports into our system by using the bar code scanner. In this way, the residence data is saved in our system and consequently the passport-holders can come and collect them. I deal on an average with 200 to 400 passports daily. I don’t find it a hard job and I like my colleagues,” she says.

Najiba keeps her fingers crossed and hopes some day she will be assigned more challenging tasks, specially dealing with customers directly.

She says the excellence award has changed her life and has left an everlasting impact on her mind. “I cannot forget the moment when His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, presented me the award saying that I deserved it for my efforts, commitment and discipline. It was a big surprise for me. I was overwhelmed with joy. I have always dreamt of visiting London and I will be able to now realise that dream,” she says with hope.

Najiba recalls the day she was offered the job at DNRD a year ago. “It was a great feeling. I did not expect that I would one day become an effective member of the society and contribute in my own little way despite my challenges,” she says.

Besides her craze for chocolate and cheese and a penchant for classical music, she loves to spend her vacations with the family, her six brothers and two sisters.

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