You can't imagine our hardship, says Bangla youth

Umm Al Quwain - Unemployed youth says there is a lack of willingness on the part of local employers to hire Bangladeshis.


Bernd Debusmann Jr.

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Published: Sun 24 Jan 2016, 4:43 PM

While charities and employers shut their doors, 22-year-old Mohammed Khawaja realised life will never be easy as it seemed once.
Now he has a family to be taken care of, with a seriously ill mother and a father who lost his job.
His mother is being treated for kidney ailment and the family needs Dh6,000 monthly for her medical expense alone.
Mohammed Khawaja from Bangaldesh told the problems began three years ago, when his father lost job as a supervisor in the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water.
Despite being born and raised in the UAE, efforts of Khawaja to get a job and look after his parents ended in vain.
According to the unemployed youth from Bangladesh, his nationality is the biggest stumbling block in finding a job.
According to him, for the last eight months his family has had to pay Dh650 per dialysis treatment totaling Dh1,300 per week, in addition to Dh800 worth of medicine every month.
"It's too much, plus there is the house rent, water, utilities. It's really difficult to manage. People have no idea how much we are suffering," he said.
"With all the stress, mom got high blood pressure and diabetes, due to which her kidneys are no longer working properly.
"The doctors told us she needed dialysis thrice in a week. But we couldn't afford that, so it's twice in a week now."
"My dad had to sell everything and I had to stop my studies," he added.
"We planned to go to our country for the treatment, but there is no such treatment in Bangladesh."
The high price of healthcare has also left the youth with no option but to approach charities for help.
The family's efforts to reach out to local Islamic charities, however, met with little success.
"Most of the charities tell me to come back after a month, or two months," he said.
"They've made me suffer a lot. They keep telling me to come back the next day, and then the next day."
However, Khawaja noted that the staff at Umm Al Quwain Hospital has done all that they can do to help his family in their time of need.
"I've met with the director of the hospital, and requested that they continue her treatment. They are still charging but said we can pay at the end," he said.
"The hospital has really helped me a lot, and understood our issues. Even some of the doctors helped with some money, and the nurses helped."
"I'm so thankful to the hospital," he added.
"But we cannot ask again and again to everyone."
Khawaja alleged that there is a lack of willingness on the part of local employers to hire Bangladeshis.
"There are so many issues. I've heard that in other places, they (Bangladeshi employees) have robbed and behaved badly. Due to this, we are suffering," he said.
"We are all being blamed for it. It's not just me. Many people are suffering."
"I want to work in customer service, and I know English, Urdu, Bengali and Hindi. I have experience, but because of nationality we are not getting jobs," he added. "The important thing is the work, and what one can do, not the nationality."

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