Nurul Islam

Mr. Nurul Islam is a quiet, yet kind man. In his 41 years of life, he has seen more of the world than an average slum-dweller. He has lived in Singapore, where he worked in construction, exported fish from Cambodia, driven a bus in Dhaka and is now working as a service attendant at the Meridian Hotel in Dubai. The one thing he likes most about Dubai is the traffic. “Only cars, no rickshaw,” he says, “you can go to places faster.”

Mr. Islam’s wife and two children live in Dhaka. He doesn’t see them often, but he supports them with every spare penny he can find. His 22-year old daughter Nusrat is studying biochemistry at university. When I ask him if he is proud of her, he looks at me and a smile appears on his face: “very proud.”