A young numismatist in search of a rare coin has had the elusive bit donated to his collection after members of the community heard his story and rallied around to help.
Nihad Hassan had been searching for the Dh1 coin that was issued in 2015 on the seventh anniversary of the accession of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed as Crown Prince of Dubai.
Just two weeks after the Indian pupil's story was published in The National, a grocery shop worker approached him with the commemorative coin he had been looking for.
“I always see him coming to the shop and when I saw his photo in the newspaper I read the story and found out that he was looking for the same coin that we have,” said Safwan Ikka, a 26-year-old Indian working at Al Maghwar grocery shop in Abu Dhabi
“When he came to by the newspaper I showed him the coin and he was very happy,” he said.
17-year-old Nihad was flooded with emails from across the country who had seen his story and were keen to help. Some offered the coin in exchange of money while others offered it freely in support of his hobby.
“I was surprised as I didn’t expect to find it that fast and when the grocery shop worker showed it to me I was really happy and thanked him a lot,” said Nihad, who did not expect to receive such attention.
“I didn’t know that I will get all this support from the community as I received emails offering me the coin as a gift and that encouraged me and made me feel that a lot of people liked what I’m doing,” he said.
His father, Abdulgafoor Hassan, was also surprised to see such encouragement from the community and said he will always support his son.
“I’m very proud of his hobby and I was one of the first people along with his uncle who had supported him and helped him in looking for more coins,” said Mr Hassan, 45.
“He got very attached with the coins that he has and I bought him a frame to keep them in and display them properly, it’s something unique and requires hard work,” he said.
Mr Hassan works in the telecommunication department at the Ministry of Interior and managed to collect many of the coins for his son after he told his colleagues about Nihad’s hobby.
Nihad’s uncle gave him the first coin of his collection, a 2010 piece that featured the words “I love UAE” encased in a heart, it was stamped in celebration of the I Love UAE national campaign.
“When he saw the first coin we both went online and did a full search about coins and he liked the idea a lot. Then I starting looking for coins to encourage him more,” he said.
His uncle runs a fruit and vegetable shop in Abu Dhabi continues to help Nihad in his hunt for rare coins.
“Whenever I get a unique coin from a customer I directly contact Nihad and keep it for him,” said Uvaise K, 37.
His collection now has three new coins, the commemoration coin for the seventh anniversary of Sheikh Hamdan’s accession as Crown Prince of Dubai, the 30th Anniversary of the First LNG Shipment from ADGAS Plant and the Sheikha Fatima Programme for Excellence and Social Creativity coin which features the Mother of the Nation Logo.
Nihad says he will continue to search for more coins to add to his collection and has now focused his hunt on the World Cup dirham which was issued in 1990 after the UAE football team qualified for the 14th World Cup finals in Italy and the UAE University 10th Anniversary coin.
“These coins are bigger than the rest and I would love to add them to my collection,” said Nihad.