Purse recovered from garbage depicts triumph of human spirit

The story speaks of multi-culturism and inclusivity

File photo
File photo

Michael Gomes

Published: Tue 4 Jan 2022, 11:27 PM

Towards the end of last month, when a Filipina health worker tossed an empty packet of chips, stashed away in a plastic bag, into a garbage bin in Sharjah, she didn’t realise that the bag also contained her wallet — containing money, her Emirates ID and other important documents.

By the time the truth hit home and she rushed back to the site, the trash had already been cleared, and taken to a landfill in an industrial area. But employees of a local waste management company meticulously sifted through 300 tonnes of foul-smelling garbage at the landfill and managed to retrieve her wallet.

This is a story of incredible dedication and the triumph of the human spirit. The UAE is full of these nuggets. People lose things that they think they will never get back, and then they find them. The means to the end is invariably the carefully-constructed processes — and an overriding passion to never sway from an endeavour to give back — that the UAE has ingrained in its DNA.

Last year has been a testing one, and as we stand at the beginning of a new one, one that doesn’t appear to be entirely bereft of challenges, stories like these (which Khaleej Times covered on its front page on Tuesday) hold out a beacon of hope: that we will make it work despite the odds.

There have been concerted efforts to make the country one of the happiest places in the world, and the UAE has been consistently showing up in the top league in every single index related to the matter. The important thing to remember is that when we say “happiness”, it’s not only about having access to personal growth, safety and infrastructure; it’s also about having a system that works like clockwork to ensure the most fulfilling experiences across the board.

The story of the health worker who got her wallet back from under a pile of garbage has many elements to it. It speaks of multi-culturism and inclusivity, where an expat is made to feel this is home — in no uncertain terms. It speaks about unimpeachable integrity, where something valuable being handed over to you is a given, you know you will never be shortchanged.

It speaks about resilience and tenacity, where no one will put up their feet till the target is achieved. It speaks about the willingness — always, at any time of the day or night — to go the extra mile, unfalteringly. And it speaks about the convergence of ordinary citizens to get together to solve a problem — at a time when one is almost beginning to despair.

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