Friday 18 January, 2019

Heart of gold: AG gets out in traffic to help wheelchair user

A man of the people: Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi poses for a selfie with constituents at a Christmas event last year.

A man of the people: Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi poses for a selfie with constituents at a Christmas event last year.

Remember when your mother would tell you to be on your best behaviour at all times because when you think no one is watching, someone always is?

Well, this was the case for Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi who is now being praised for a simple act of kindness after he was spotted on Wednesday morning at Victoria Avenue, Port-of-Spain assisting an elderly man who was having some difficulty getting across the road.

Facebook user Deon Jeffers posted about the kind act after he witnessed Al-Rawi helping the senior citizen get safely to the other side of the busy street.

Jeffers wrote:

“Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, M.P., you thought noone was watching but you were seen. Wednesday morning at Victoria Square, while other cars were zooming pass, you caused your vehicle to stop and block the traffic. You exited and walked across to a wheelchair bound citizen. You had a brief conversation with him before wheeling him across to the other side. The same average man who complains "dem politicians too big," turned a blind eye to this man's predicament - this same man who was average like the rest of us. You showed the average man that you aren't too big and that you have more heart than many of us.”

When contacted, the Attorney General was surprised to learn that his interaction with the elderly man was seen by anyone.

He told LoopTT what he did was not something deserving of praise, but something any citizen would do. 

While on his way to a meeting at the Office of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs on Wednesday, Al-Rawi saw "something that concerned him" - a feeble, elderly man walking with a cane struggling to make his way to the other side of the street as cars just zoomed past.

Not a single driver slowed down to allow the man to cross the street. 

Instinctively, Al-Rawi stepped in to assist. He asked his drivers to stop the vehicle and got out and helped the man cross the street, where he had his wheelchair.

"I asked him: Uncle, what you doing on the street? And I offered to help him cross, so, I held his hand and helped him across the road."

"I then offered to take him to where he needed to go because I was worried what might happen if I left him there. He had no one with him."

He said while the man was grateful for his assistance and his offer to take him to his destination, he was told that he "really needed the exercise" so he would prefer to walk.

During his brief conversation with the man, Al-Rawi noticed that the man was wearing socks on his feet, but no shoes. 

"I gave him money to get a pair of slippers at least and something to eat. I couldn't leave him like that."  

Al-Rawi challenged citizens to do something in their own capacity to help someone, no matter how small the gesture. 

"A little goes a long way. We all in our lives do something to help others. Do something, even anonymously, to help people."

"I hope this affects people positively and inspires everyday people pay it forward," he added. 

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