40-year-old receives ‘Expo Golden Hearts’ award for outstanding service to visitors
Dubai: A volunteer at Expo 2020 Dubai has gone the extra mile and created special memorabilia by collecting stamps from all 192 country pavilions on a big map of the Expo.
Muhammad Asim Durrani, a 40-year-old volunteer from Pakistan, first started collecting stamps last October from all pavilions on his kandura (Arab attire), T-Shirt and scarf. More recently, he collected stamps from across the pavilions on a big map and logo of Expo.
“My friends call me ‘Expo lover’. I fell in love with Expo since day one,” Durrani told Gulf News.
“When I heard about the event, I told myself that I will go once or maybe twice only, but I have so far gone to the Expo site more than 145 times.”
Durrani said the idea behind his collection of stamps is to motivate people to visit Expo if they haven;t already. “I saw people collecting stamps on the yellow passport and I thought of going about it in a different style,” he said.
As Durrani walked around the Expo site with his souvenirs, many people approached him offering to buy his Expo souvenirs – his kandoura, T-shirt, scarf and map. “I told them it is not for sale but they kept asking me to sell them. One of them even offered to pay Dh10,000 to buy the kandoura.”
Durrani, who works at a government department in the morning and volunteers at Expo in the evening, has earned the Expo Golden Hearts award.
The award is given to volunteers who have gone above and beyond to make sure that Expo visitors’ experience is extra special. In Expo, there are more than 30,000 volunteers, according to organisers.
“I love voluntary work since I came to the UAE in 2005. I wanted to be part of Expo and applied to work as a volunteer. I had 55 shifts until [recently] and my last shift will be on March 31, the last day of Expo,” he said.
Durrani said that he brought his family several times to visit Expo and learn about different countries’ cultures.
“I feel sad as the event will finish by the end of the month. We will miss Expo 2020 Dubai as it was an extraordinary event that enabled us to travel the world from one place,” Durrani said.
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