Ahmed and Ahmed

A Tragic Dubai Story from 1970s

Ahmed and Ahmed worked together in Port Rashid’s Maintenance Garage in 1970s. The younger Ahmed had entered Dubai as an illegal immigrant in 1970s. Through a lengthy process, Ahmed became legally resident and found a job with Dubai Port Services at Port Rashid. Ahmed also passed his Driving Test so now drove buses for DPS each morning and evening and vehicles to and from the Garage Wash Bay during the day.

The other Ahmed was much older. His background was obscure. No one really knew how Ahmed came to work for DPS as the Garage Cleaner. Often people were sent by Sheikh Rashid's office to DPS with the simple instruction that these people were to be employed - as what was not stated! Ahmed had worked as the Garge Cleaner for several years. He was a hard worker, rarely spoke to anyone and generally kept himself to himself.

One morning, Ahmed the Driver killed Ahmed the Cleaner.

Not intentionally. It was an accident. Ahmed the Driver drove over Ahmed the Cleaner while reversing a bus from the Wash Bay. Dubai Police arrived and immediately arrested the surviving Ahmed. Dubai Police took the view there was always someone to blame - in this case Ahmed the Driver. Ahmed was taken away and imprisoned. Later Ahmed was charged with murder.

No one in the Garage could understand how this tragic accident happened. Questions started to be asked. Over the following days, staff were interviewed, vehicles inspected, yards measured, drawings made then, slowly, a picture emerged of what had happened.

Ahmed the Driver had been reversing a Daihatsu Mini Bus which had a high set rear window. The Driver sat low down in the Bus. This combination of a high rear window and low Driver seating left in a huge blind spot behind the bus where the driver could not see anyone behind the bus either through the rear window or the bus's wing mirrors.

Ahmed the Cleaner’s movements were tracked. He always moved from the Garage to the Garbage Bins along his usual routenon the inside of the garage wall and intonthe yard. the bus was reversing along an identical route but on the outside of te garage wall. At the end of the wall Ahmed the Cleaner made his usual turn into the yard but, on this occcsion, into the path of the reversing bus Ahmed the Cleaner was in the bus blind spot and unseen by Ahmed the Driver. Ahmed the Cleaner and Ahmed the Driver paths cand its blind spot. Ahmed the Cleaner had his back towads the bus. Ahmed the Driver could not see the other Ahmed. Each unaware of the other. The bus reversed over Ahmed the Cleaner. He died instantly.

Ahmed the Driver was not to blame for Ahmed the Cleaner’s death.

A detailed Report was submitted to the Duba Court by DPS’s local Lawyer. The Court's asked Dubai Police to check if the Bus Reversing Alarm was working. Dubai Police checked. Reversing Alarm was working. Maintenance Records showed the Reversing Alarm had been regularly checked. Police decided Ahmed the Cleaner had ignored the Bus’s Reversing Alarm. Their Report was sent to the Court. The Judge asked if DPS was insured and if Ahmed the Cleaner’s family would receive compensation. Answer was “Yes” on both counts. The amount of compensation was submitted to the Court for their consideration and approval. The Court declared Ahmed the Driver innocent and awarded Ahmed the Cleaner's family substantial compensation.

Ahmed the Driver was released and returned to work.

A DPS Representative visited Ahmed the Cleaner’s family to inform them of the outcome and amount of compensation they would receive. He also explained the Police findings that the Bus Reversing Alarm had been working properly but Ahmed had ignored its warning.
“But Ahmed was deaf” the family said “He has always been deaf”.