Saleem Al Hamwi with a placard that mentions his blood group. Right: Saleem with his sons Mohammed and Qamar in Beirut.
Sohaila Ahmed & Syed Shayaan Bakht, Staff Reporters
SHARJAH: A Lebanese man’s photo of holding a placard that reads he wants to sell his kidney to run his family has gone viral over the Internet. The man, Saleem Al Hamwi, a 34-year-old, spoke to Gulf Today in a phone interview from Beirut.
Saleem, who used to work in the construction field drastically suffered a back injury, leading to the loss of his job which left him with no income to feed or take care of his family.
“As a result of my injury, I can’t stand for a long time, I can’t lay my back on a chair, I can’t even practice my prayers properly; I was unemployed for two months because of the pain I suffered” Saleem said.
Since his family cannot provide the necessary support for him, Saleem stated that he has no one but God to turn to, as his wife and two small children, Mohammed and Qamar, are not fit to work.
Saleem said, “I don’t want my family to land up in the streets…”
He mentioned that he asked for the help from many people and charities, but they did nothing other than taking photos of me and give empty promises.
“I don’t want my family to land up in the streets…
Saleem stated that a man he doesn’t know have contacted him and set a meeting together in Beirut near a bridge area, claiming that he has something to offer. The meeting did not last more than 10 seconds, to find that the stranger handed him a one hundred-dollar bill as a means of help.
Saleem found over the Internet that selling one of his organs could fetch him handsome amount to run his family and pay the house rent.
A view of Saleem Al Hamvi's house in Beirut.
Once he put his kidney on sale, another man approached him to start the kidney transfer procedures. The first few tests were a match for both of them until one was a fail.
“There’s a woman who was in contact with me and have promised to provide the next two months’ rent and buy a vegetable cart so I could work on it” Saleem said.
“Some people supported my decision of selling my kidney, while others were against it, but if someone ever offered a Lebanese $50,000 to take my kidney, I would still give it in order live and support my family.
Neighbours and friends of Saleem have done all they could to provide help by collecting money and paid for a one month rent, but unfortunately once the month is over he will have to evacuate the house.
He pointed out to the fact that he has been job-hunting several times and has found a job as a deliveryman in one of the restaurants, but was asked to buy his own motorbike in order to get the job.
A general view looking west shows the Lebanese capital Beirut. AFP
Saleem now has the desire to start a new project and buy a vegetable cart, which will cost around Lebanese $300, and is anxiously waiting for the help and support of those who know about his story.
“Some people supported my decision of selling my kidney, while others were against it, but if someone ever offered a Lebanese $50,000 to take my kidney, I would still give it in order live and support my family,” he said.
Saleem was even asked to change his religion in order to get the help he needs, but his belief and strength were enough for him not to follow that road.
Al Jalila Foundation, a global philanthropic healthcare organisation dedicated to transforming lives, today announced the launch of the third edition of the annual Ramadan campaign ‘basma’, smile in Arabic, in partnership with hospitality, leisure, and retail outlets across the UAE.
The UAE’s related projects reflect the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which has become a domestic, regional and international model, said Hamad Saeed.
The initiative was launched following a video that went viral on social media of children being bullied by their fellow colleagues on a school bus.
The Roads and Transport Authority further said it seeks to provide extensive support to community members during this challenging period and stressed that everyone’s cooperation is critical to combat the pandemic.
Two centres would be conducting the test from the car, while the third would be for laboratory analysis, he added.
The measures will be effective from 8.00 pm on Saturday, 4 April, 2020 for a period of two weeks, subject to renewal.