Mr Alal (56) is an extraordinary man, who has made helping others his mission in life after he was helped by the Maria Cristina Foundation.
After nearly five years of arduous English studies in Dhaka, Mr Alal was finally ready for his job interview with Emirates. A natural charmer, a polite and well-mannered man, he was offered a job as a wheelchair attendant, which he was been doing since 2011. The job is good, he says, especially the tips he gets!
But those tips are more than just that. They have helped Mr Alal open a primary school in his home village in Dista in Lalmonirhat district. There are currently 80 students enrolled at the school from nursery to primary school, there are 6 teachers, who were all employed locally. Mr Alal wasted no time when he got to Dubai:
“I was inspired by Maria and wanted to show her that I can also make a difference. So in 2012 I started a school. It is called the Helping Hand pre-cadet School. There are pictures of Maria on the walls of my school, because I am so thankful to her for helping me.”
Mr Alal has a big family back in Bangladesh. In fact, he has two families and he helps both of them. When he was a rickshaw puller back in his village, his first wife did not care much for him and he could not afford to take care of his 3 daughters and a son.
He went to Dhaka to look for better opportunities. He worked at a hotel as a kitchen assistant for 3 years and soon met his second wife with whom he has three sons. Don’t be quick to pass judgement on Mr Alal, however. He has put all his children through school and supports both of his wives, despite the first one not being his true love, he says.
When Mr Alal met Maria he was hired as a shopkeeper, where Maria Cristina Foundation sold all surplus in kind donations that were made to us. Eager to learn and always looking for better opportunities, Mr Alal enrolled in the Foundation’s English classes, which were taught by some of our students, who are now nearly ready to graduate from high school.
Mr Alal is one of the few people, who prefer to stay in Dubai rather than go back home. He wants to bring his second wife and children to Dubai as well and perhaps open a family business. However, he does go back for vacation once a year to look after his school and make sure everything is going smoothly.
Mr Alal comes across as a humble and shy man, but there is unspeakable kindness in his eyes. He loves helping people.
“Whatever I will do next, Maria’s name will be there again,” he says as we sum up his interview.