No Christmas For Us This Year, Say Heart-broken Filipinos Who Lost Everything In Deira Building Blaze
Category: Kuwait Local News

This was going to be the first Christmas away from home for merchandiser Reynaldo Colis, 32. To make up for it he had a cargo full of goodies for his three sisters and old mother, ready to be shipped in a week’s time.

On Monday night, he lost it all in the fire that tore through the three Al Shamsi buildings on Salahuddin Road in Deira’s Muteena area driving hundreds homeless. Colis also lost his laptop, clothes and 10 pairs of sneakers from his collection of ‘originals’ but what he can’t get over is the fact that his sisters and mum won’t receive a Christmas gift.

“We save all year only to splurge during Christmas. It is our most festive time and exchanging gifts with our closest is our tradition. Alas there won’t be any of it!” said Colis, who was living in Block A of the ill-fated building since moving to Dubai around eight months back. The bigger challenge for Colis and his friends now, he says, is to pick up the pieces from here, having lost almost everything they had.

On Tuesday, a day after the fire, help arrived from several quarters. Many Dubai residents came forward with toiletries, towels and heaps of used clothes while the owner of the building Hamad Al Shamsi rented out 19 apartments in a new building in Hor Al Anz to rehome over 130 Filipinos. Two of his staff overlooking the rehabilitation process in co-operation with the Dubai Police Human Rights Department and the Philippine Consulate said three months of rents for each apartment had already been paid for. They added that another 40 families – mostly Indians, Pakistanis and Arabs - were moved to three Deira hotels at his expense until temporary accommodations are found.

Help desk

Philippine Deputy Consul General Giovanni Palec, who was at the site on Tuesday evening, said he and his office were monitoring the situation and have set up a desk at the Barrio Fiesta restaurant in Ramada Hotel for affected Filipinos. “We urge fire victims to register with us at the earliest so we can assess their needs,” he told XPRESS.

“We spent the first night in a parking lot and are still in a daze. Thankfully we don’t at least have to sleep outdoors from tonight,” said Ann Janet Korina, 26 from Sorsogon City. “However there’s a long way to go before we can get back to normalcy. With no money, no clothes and no form of identification, we are down to zero,” said her flatmate Karen Llorente, 36.



26 Nov, 2015 0 1155
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