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Posted On: 9 March 2016 10:25 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:16 pm

The Qatari on the plane

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I was gearing up to come home to Qatar from Dubai. I boarded the flight and found my seat beside a Qatari lady and her daughter.

I think I apologized (as Canadians profusely do) when I had to squeeze in and drop my bag at their feet. The mother asked me where I was from, I told her I was Canadian of Palestinian heritage. Now, that is where our conversation began…

She asked me what I was doing in Qatar, if I was working, did I have family in Qatar, and a few more questions. I answered each question and afterwards the lady offered to help me in every single capacity that she deemed I may need it. She told me to forward her my CV, to call her as soon as I got settled - as she stated she didn’t want me to “feel alone in Qatar”, she then welcomed me to her home numerous times and made sure I recorded her number and email address. At the end of the flight she wanted to verify again that I recorded her details accurately.

She offered her husband to help take my boys to the mosque if their father was ever unavailable and the entire conversation was filled with compliments. The mother then introduced herself and shared her own story, her personal details, and created an environment between us where I felt we were no longer strangers performing introductions, but we were somehow friends.

I have never seen someone so tirelessly offer compliments. It was quite the self-esteem high as she generously and graciously offered numerous kind words. Her daughter would chime in from time to time in agreement.

After the Adventures in Abaya experience, I began to reminisce about the various ladies I met on my journey in Qatar. The lady on the airplane was one who certainly stood out. Regardless, I have made a concerted effort to call this wonderful human being and share our story. I haven’t gotten ahold of her yet, but if I’m lucky she’ll one day find this story :)

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