UAE - While many families and friends in the UAE came together to celebrate Eid Al Adha, there were some who spent the occasion just thinking about their loved ones back home.
For office boy Abdul Salam, 26, Eid Al Adha is a 'bittersweet' time of the year, as he misses his family in Nepal. But he is grateful that he got the opportunity to work in the UAE, with an employer who takes good care of him and his colleagues.
"I love how my company looks after the happiness of its people and sees to it that an initiative involves all the staff members, Muslims and non-Muslims alike," said Salam.
These were delivered to the company's worker communities across the UAE, covering almost 18 staff accommodations.
Salam was surprised to see his hamper, filled with an assortment of fruits, cakes, wafers, chocolates, juices and biscuits.
"Thanks to them, I don't feel too lonely. My colleagues, roommates and staff are my family here and we celebrate Eid here with more fervour than we do back home," he said.
Salam started his Eid day with prayers, after which he and his friends cooked food and ate together before heading out to malls.
Handing out the Eid packs to Salam and other workers, Tariq Chauhan, group CEO of EFS, said: "At this time of the year - when workers continue to work hard, day in and out, away from the families - we make the most of this opportunity to celebrate with our staff and show our care for them."
In another workers' accommodation at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office, blue-collar worker Filipina Alysia was sitting at the cafeteria with her friends when they were surprised by the arrival of the Zayed Happiness Caravan.
An initiative set up by the Dar Al Ber Society, the van travels to different locations across the UAE, spreading happiness by distributing gifts to blue-collar workers.
An overwhelmed Alysia could not hold back her tears when Dar Al Ber officials gave gifts to everyone in her accommodation.
"I was just thinking about what to do this Eid, realising that I would need to buy some goodies for my friends and for my family back home. But we were pleasantly surprised by Dar Al Ber representatives with so many gifts that it helped us forget how sad we feel about being away from our families," she said.
"It is such a nice feeling to receive gifts on the occasion of Eid. I am happy to know that there are people who care for us here."
Dar Al Ber Society's Zayed Happiness Caravan visited several other locations and distributed gifts and food to over 3,500 workers. The special packages included cakes, sweets, shampoo, beauty creams, ceramic bowls, among others.
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