The power of social media is limitless and can sometimes materialize into something rather frightening. Yet there are instances in which a viral post can salvage a situation. It is certainly the case for Ezzet Anwar, a homeless Egyptian man living in the United Arab Emirates, who was taken off the streets thanks to the support he received on Facebook.
He had arrived in the UAE in January, in hopes of working in hospitality only to realise that he fell prey to a scam. The 29-year-old man, unable to backtrack, decided to stay, living day to day and sleeping in parks and mosques in the Emirate of Sharjah.
In demonstration of his good fortune, the young man crossed paths with U.S.-Emirati author Dedra L. Stevenson, several times outside of the local Starbucks. After an exchange, she benevolently alerted her online community of his dilemma, reaching over 40,000 people.
Only hours later, Ezzet Anwar had landed a job in a royal palace in Umm Al Quwain.
Delighted at the news, Anwar, who had refused money offered by Stevenson moments prior, immediately moved into the mansion as he preferred to make his own living. Meera Butti Omeir, his benefactor, the wife of Umm Al Quwain’s deputy head of government, Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Mualla III, affectionately recounts how her own children wanted to help the newcomer, offering him fruits, shampoo, fresh sheets, and everyday items to make him feel at home.
Good morning everyone! I’m amazed that the original post about the nice boy who needed help reached almost 40K people…
The power of social networking
“I’d almost given up hope and I didn’t know what to do,” he said. “I can’t fail, for the sake of my wife and children. I didn’t come here to have fun, I came here to work. Social media demonstrated once again the power to gather reaction and enable mobilization!”