A life dedicated to humanity
Mohammad Ali 62, is a senior driver at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) office in Iran and the longest serving member of the team.
Mohammad Ali started his career with the UN in August 1987 when WFP re-opened its office in Iran to assist with the first influx of Afghan refugees coming into the country. He has witnessed many crises and emergency operations during his 30 years of service including the Rudbar earthquake in 1990, the Gulf War in 1991, the Afghanistan emergency operation in 2001, the Iraq emergency operation and the Bam earthquake in 2003.
“First wave of asylum seekers from Afghanistan came to the country in 1979 struggling with a very bad condition. Because of the violence, thousands of people were forced from their homes. I said to myself that I definitely want to help people in need and pay my share to humanity” he recalls.
“When I joined WFP, the office was run by only 3 staff members including myself- we didn’t sleep for weeks. There was so much work to do. I remember thinking 24 hours in a day is not enough…we had to quickly scale up and put in 110% of our energy, otherwise people would suffer and that would be unforgivable.
During 30 years he has driven 1,200,000 kilometers all across the country to serve refugees and survivors of natural disasters. He drove all these roads days and nights in the middle of hot summers to frozen winters.
“When you work in a team that is helping people in need you should be ready and flexible to go the extra mile- literally. Working in a humanitarian organization requires dedication and love, otherwise it’s almost impossible to continue and stay motivated. Serving people in need is my passion.” He says.
“When I look back at my career, it’s like a book full of good and bad chapters, but at the end I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else or doing anything else. I have dedicated my life to humanitarian activities and I am very proud of it” He says.
Mohammad Ali retires at the end of September 2017 with close to 30 years of tireless and committed service. We wish him all the best for his next chapter. The world is a just a bit better because of him and people like him.