Miraculous escape from EK521 to win $1 million

Miraculous escape from EK521 to win $1 million

Dubai - "I will not donate money to charity. I will work for others' wellness and will do something to help the needy. But not by donating money. I know that money will make enemies," he said.

By Anu Warrier

Published: Thu 11 Aug 2016, 4:02 PM

Last updated: Fri 12 Aug 2016, 1:10 AM

Life has started de novo for Mohammed Basheer, a 61-year-old Indian. And he calls it a miracle life.

He was supposed to end his 36 years' life in the UAE last December after retiring from his service as a fleet administrator at a car dealer's body shop.

However, the company extended his service for one more year and that year changed his life.

Basheer was among the 282 passengers who had a miraculous escape from the fateful Emirates flight which met with an operational incident at Dubai International Airport last week. He said it 'was God's grace'.

However, one week later, lady luck smiled on him, again. This time, the luck is worth $1 million. The Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire ticket he purchased while on his way to India on vacation for Eid on July 6 brought him the money.

"I would buy a millionaire ticket whenever I travelled through Dubai airport. This is my 17th ticket. Of course, there was hope. And more than that, that's sort of a zakat," says Basheer.

Basheer will complete his one year extension at work in December and 37 years of his UAE life. "In the last 37 years, I have spent only 37 months with my family back home. If the company wants me to stay back and gives me an extension, I will continue with the job. Otherwise, I will go back. I will spend the rest of my life with my family," says Basheer when asked whether he would start a business in the UAE with the money.

Basheer's wife and two children live in his small home in a village in Thiruvananthapuram district in the south Indian state of Kerala. His daughter is married, but his 21-year-old son has been bed-ridden for years. "He got paralysed after a fall 13 days after birth and can't move freely. My daughter has two children, and her husband is working Dubai."

About his escape from the plane incident, he believes it was the pilot's confidence and God's grace that saved the passengers. "Personally, I'm not afraid of death. I know death is always after us. I believe in God and think that he returns to us whatever we do in our life. Everything is in His hands."

Basheer came to the UAE in 1978 and started work in a dredging company. In 1995, he shifted to the present company as a driver and grew from there to the current position. "The UAE gave me all that I have in my life. I even brought my wife and son on a visit here, just to let them see the place, a place where I have spent all these years."

Future plans

So what is he going to do with the fortune?

Soon after Basheer got information about the win, he called his daughter. "I told her that this money does not belong to us. Whatever I earn through my work is for us. But I will not donate money to charity. I will work for others' wellness and will do something to help the needy. But not by donating money. I know that money will make enemies, and I'm sure it will be the same in my case, too."

Basheer believes in work and wants to continue working till death. His retirement plan was simple. "I don't have any savings other than my end-of-service benefits. Last year, when I was about to retire, my plan was to start farming in my village. That would also help other needy people. I still have that plan, I love farming."

His only concern is his son's future. "I want to make his future secure. I'm sure God will be with me in that, too," Basheer says with confidence.


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