When the coronavirus well being disaster hit Dubai this spring, photographer Paula Hainey instantly misplaced all of her jobs.
She was not alone.
Inside weeks, the well being disaster closed borders and grounded airplanes within the Persian Gulf metropolis, one of many world’s busiest worldwide journey facilities. Tens of hundreds of international employees on short-term visas misplaced their jobs.
To fill her newly free hours, Hainey had an thought. She supplied free picture shoots to those that are pressured to go away the lives that they had constructed within the United Arab Emirates.
Hainey mentioned she remembered that, earlier than COVID-19, households of international employees would pay her to take their footage in entrance of well-known constructions. Right here is the Burj Al Arab resort formed like a sail. Over there’s Burj Khalifa, the tallest constructing on the planet.
“For those who’ve been residing right here for 15 years,” she mentioned, “you need one thing to recollect it by.”
Hainey mentioned it was “loopy.” Her cellphone exploded with texts from folks on all types of social media. When Dubai reopened after lockdown, she spent her mornings on the white-sand Palace Seaside, photographing over 100 households at dawn.
Most of her topics are pilots and others who work at Dubai airport and within the journey business. “They’ve been right here for 15-20 years. Their youngsters have been raised right here, then they’re despatched again ‘house,’” Hainey mentioned. “However their house has been Dubai.”
Darrin Chapman is a 49-year-old pilot who got here from Greenwich, Connecticut. He met his spouse throughout a cease in Australia six years in the past.
Chapman threw his one-year-old daughter, Harper, into the air as Hainey’s digicam captured the second. His spouse regarded on lovingly whereas the ocean waves washed towards the sand.
“An image tells the most important story, and we wished some recollections,” Chapman mentioned, for when his daughter grows up.
“It was our dream to boost her right here,” he added. “We’re not too excited to boost her within the States, however it’s what it’s.”
The well being disaster has been particularly damaging to these like Chapman. He piloted one of many Emirates’ Airbus A380s, the most important passenger airplanes on the earth. The planes are now not flying with out the group of vacationers.
Chapman misplaced his job after surviving the primary three rounds of layoffs at state-owned Emirates. He’s transferring his household to Laguna Hills, California, to seek out work close to his mom and sister.
“We’re fairly unhappy, it’s house for us,” he mentioned after 11 years in Dubai.
Paula Hainey, a Brazilian, has lived within the metropolis for seven years. Even along with her personal difficulties and unsure future, she finds solace in serving to others say goodbye to Dubai.
“Everyone is attempting to assist throughout COVID. Eating places are giving meals or individuals are supporting medical workers,” she mentioned. “That is my approach of serving to.”
I’m Anna Matteo.
The Related Press reported this story from Dubai. Anna Matteo tailored it for VOA Studying English. Hai Do was the editor.
Phrases in This Story
lockdown – n. the confinement of prisoners to their cells for a short lived interval as a safety measure
loopy – adj. wild or uncontrolled
child – n. a teenager
excited – adj. very enthusiastic and keen about one thing
it’s what it’s – idiomatic phrase : an expression used to explain a irritating or difficult scenario that an individual believes can’t be modified and should simply be accepted
layoff – n. the act of ending the employment of a employee or body of workers
solace – n. to present consolation to in grief or misfortune
workers – n. a gaggle of people that work for a corporation or enterprise