Video: Meet Pakistani hero honoured for setting up makeshift barriers after rains create roadside hole

Honoured for taking initiative, the expat received two iPhones and other gifts as tokens of appreciation from government authorities

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Sat 31 Dec 2022, 3:08 PM

Last updated: Sat 31 Dec 2022, 4:35 PM

Abdulaziz Abdulhamid, a Pakistani mason, thought he was going to jail for creating barriers on a road in Sharjah. But what happened next was entirely the opposite — in fact, it turned out to be one of the best moments in his life.

A video of Abdulaziz went viral recently, after community members in the emirate saw him dragging some wooden planks on the road to create a traffic barricade and warn drivers of a major hazard.

"I was returning to work after prayers at that time," he said. He noticed a few stones on the road in the Sajaa neighbourhood and decided to clear them out to ease traffic movement.

To his shock, however, the rocks weren't the only problem: There was a big hole on the roadside, a sandy patch that appeared to have sunk and collapsed after the heavy rain.

“The electric and other cables under the road were also visible. I thought to myself, if somebody takes this road, it can be a nightmare for the driver. It was turning dark and I quickly felt I should do something,” said Abdulaziz , who has been working as a mason in the UAE for the last 15 years.

Looking around for objects that he could use to warn drivers about the hazard, he found some pieces of wood a few metres away.

“I dragged them on the road to create the barricade. While I was doing it, someone shot the video and sent it across,” he said, adding that he still has no idea who that person was.

Here's the video:

After an hour, a stranger approached him at his work site and asked him about the barrier he created.

“He was an Emirati and asked me about the barricades on the road. I was frightened, thinking that I had committed some crime. Then he showed me the video, which further scared me, and then he left,” he said.

The next day, people around the locality were talking about the video.

"I thought I was done for and will be facing grave consequences for blocking the road. An Emirati man approached me and took me to a police station in Sharjah. I was thinking, 'I would be imprisoned today'. But the moment I reached the station I was given a grand welcome,” the expat added.

He was handed a certificate and an iPhone. "I don’t have words to thank the authorities for such an honour which I was not expecting."

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Before the recognition even sank in, Abdulaziz received another call, this time from the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre).

“A man named Al Khoory picked me up and drove me to Abu Dhabi. I was taken to the office of Mohre and was honoured again,” he said.

He was given another certificate, a Dh500 du top-up card, and another iPhone.

“I have seen an iPhone, but have never held it. But now I have two,” said the teary-eyed Azeez.

For him, the two iPhones — plus the certificates and all the other gifts he had received — stand for the "highest honour" he had received in his lifetime. "These gifts will always be with me," he told Khaleej Times.

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