Monday, September 1, 2008


One year ago, these three men were struggling to survive in the slums of Dhaka - this week they made a new start in life, working at a hotel in Dubai. Abdur Razzak, Zohorul Islam and Nurul Islam are the first men from The Dhaka Project who have come to the emirate to work.
The project is a charity set up by Dubai-based flight attendant Maria Conceicao and supports some of Bangladesh's poorest people by offering education to children and career opportunities to adults. Abdur, Zohorul and Nurul arrived in Dubai last week and are now working at Le Meridien Dubai, where they can earn money for their families back in Bangladesh. Abdur works as a laundry attendant, while Zohorul and Nurul are both in the house-keeping department. The men say they are enjoying their new lives in the UAE and are glad to be far from the stagnant pond slums of Dhaka, with its poverty and squalor."Dhaka is a poor city. There are no jobs for us there," Nurul said. "I want to stay in Dubai for as long as possible because I enjoy my new job." Abdur added: "Now I will be able to send money home to my wife and daughter, as they are so poor. My daughter studies at the Dhaka Project and lives in the hostel there." In Bangladesh there is no source of income so everything becomes difficult. Anjali Mash, HR training and qualities manager at the hotel, said the men are already showing huge potential. "We have put the three assistants in different areas to find out where they best fit in," she said. "In the future we want to do more to support the cause by taking people from The Dhaka Project." And Conceicao said she was grateful to the hotel for lending its support. "Finally we managed to get the first Bangladeshis from The Dhaka Project, over to Dubai. "Le Meridien Dubai has really given us a chance and it could be the beginning of a long-term marriage! "Last year, Hamida and Aruna Islam were due to be the first members the scheme to work in Dubai, but their plans fell through at the last minute."

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