Dubai Musings: The kindness of strangers

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Dubai Musings: The kindness of strangers

A car breakdown teaches Mohamad Kadry a lesson in generosity

By Mohamad Kadry

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Published: Sat 19 Oct 2013, 12:22 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:35 AM

There are a million things that can go wrong in your day, but sometimes it’s the most insignificant actions of a stranger that breathe life back into you.

Residents that have been in Dubai long enough can grasp what a very small town this place really is. Like any city, it’s made up of smaller communities of people going about their lives.

Whether life is moving at a snail’s pace or it becomes too fast to handle, there are still people out there who reach out a friendly hand and help put things in perspective.

Recently, my car suddenly died while driving along Sheikh Zayed Road past Jumeirah Lakes Towers – not an entirely unusual occurrence in my motoring history. I pulled over to safety and thought how this would put a dent in the day’s schedule.

It being overwhelmingly hot and sunny outside, I waited patiently in my car for a recovery vehicle to meet me. Taking a page out of my father’s rulebook, I didn’t allow the inconvenience of a broken down engine to stress me out. ‘Never sweat the small stuff,’ he always says.

Shortly after, I noticed two muscle cars pulling up behind me. Was this Jay Z’s entourage coming to greet me? By the looks of their wardrobe choices, it wasn’t a far stretch of the imagination.

When this entourage of eight walked towards my car, I rolled down the window anticipating a barrage of mechanical related questions – the oil that might be running low or the electrical shortage that may have warped the starter.

Instead, I was met with an ice-cold bottle of water. Given the heat and my now drenched shirt, I was more than grateful for the consideration they gave me.

They invited me to wait in the air-conditioned confines of their car, as if they had no place better to be. Perhaps they didn’t, or maybe ensuring that a stranded driver was comfortable was more of a priority for them.

That group of young men gave me more than hydration and shelter that day. They left me wondering about all the small ways we should be giving back to each other; opening a door, holding an elevator, lifting a heavy bag of groceries.

In a place like Dubai where life can feel like it’s moving a mile a minute without a friend in sight, it’s the small gestures that are worth their weight in gold.


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