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08 December 2023

Honest man returns Dh2,000 lost in Karama

By Majorie van Leijen

If you found Dh2,000 randomly lying on the street, what would you do? Buying that fancy dress you always wanted? Support your friend in need? Spend it on charity?

Surely, very few people would think of delivering the notes to the nearest lost-and-found desk. Yet, such luck struck the 45-year-old Pakistani Tariq Saif Rehman, who was overwhelmed by the goodness he witnessed that day.

A father of five children, it is not easy to cope with unexpected shortcomings, he explains. “You can maybe imagine the burden if I had lost that amount that day.”

Last week, when he returned from his daily job in Rashid Hospital, he decided to make a detour to the nearest supermarket for some groceries before returning home. Assuming that he had put the Dh500 note bills away in his pocket, he continued his way home, but then realised that the money was not there.

“I had no idea where I could have lost it. I went to check if I had left the money at home, or maybe in my car. When I did not find it anywhere, I thought it must have fallen out of my pocket. It was windy that day, and it could have been anywhere. So I did not think it would be possible to find it.

“However, I did go back to the supermarket, just to check if they maybe had found the money somewhere,” he continues. “They said they did not, but somebody else did and dropped it off at the counter provided with his mobile number.”

On the way home, Tariq had passed by the mosque to perform the Maghreb prayer, and the money had dropped out of his pocket in front of the mosque. Narrating the series of events on his way home, the gentleman on the other line realised that he had to be the rightful owner of the cash, as he found it in front of the mosque indeed.

The finder was Aslam Punnakannath, an Indian man working for a prestigious company in Dubai. As Tariq was introduced to the honest man, he only wanted to show him his deepest gratitude, as anybody else could have taken the precious notes.

“Alhamdilulah, alhamdulilah, alhamdulilah,” says Tariq. “I think it is incredible that while living in a cosmopolitan city like Dubai, we find honesty like this. This is truly something which we are taught by local culture.

“I will be forever grateful to Aslan for returning this money, and I will always keep him and his family in my prayers,” he adds. “I would like to say a special thank you to him by publishing these words on Emirates 24|7.”