Nazer al-Islam Abdul Karim, a Bangladeshi cleaner in Saudi Arabia, has been lavished with gifts from strangers after a photo of him staring at gold jewelry went viral.
According to AsiaOne, an Instagram user posted the photo of 65-year-old Abdul Karim, who is employed in Riyadh, with the caption: “This man only deserves to look at rubbish.”
But instead of being mocked further, users angered by the ignorant caption banded together and responded with support for Abdul Karim, who earns only 700 Saudi Riyal (US$186.56) per month.
Abdullah al Qahtani, a 38-year-old businessman, who runs a humanitarian account, called Ensaniyat, on Twitter started asking users’ help to identify the man.
“Peace and blessings upon you all, I urge those who know this worker to get in touch with me. I have a free set of gold jewellery for him,” al Qahtani tweeted out to his followers.
The tweet was shared nearly 7,000 times and liked over 1,500 since it was first posted on Sunday, and users were able to identify Abdul Karim in just three hours, according to CNN.
“I received tons of phone calls and messages in response to my tweet. Some were really helpful, while others were claiming that they were the cleaner,” al Qahtani explained.
Abdul Karim said he received a ton of gifts from netizens including a gold necklace, just like the one he was looking at on display, along with money, return flight tickets to Bangladesh, and iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
“Even a rice company wanted to donate rice bags to Nazer al-Islam,” al Qahtani said.
After his photo went viral, Turki al-Dajam, an executive at a Saudi sports channel, took to Snapchat to post videos of Abdul Karim choosing a gold set, as well other photos of him with his new gifts.
The cleaner, who wasn’t aware the photo of him was being taken, said he was shocked but grateful for the kindness of strangers.
“I was just doing my job as a cleaner in the municipality and found myself in front of the gold shop,” Abdul Karim said. “I am very happy about the gifts and very thankful.”