Shaad Hamid

Oxford SEO and PPC Consultant/Blogger

2017 year in review


This year has been a tough year to say the least.

At the start of the year Rizmiya and I hadn’t yet received our visas while living in Dubai, which meant I was technically working illegally. My passport was with a PRO who was extremely irresponsible and highly unprofessional, so much so that when I asked for my passport back he gave it to me with a piece of paper saying I have 30 days to leave the country. Upon closer inspection, the paper actually said I have until midnight to leave the country. I had to leave and come back on a visit visa after 3-4 days. I cut my finger and needed to get stitches which wasn’t covered by insurance. Rizmiya lost and found the car key-fob, which would have costed us at least AED2000 from the price of the car we had to sell. We didn’t have money to cover the difference between the car’s resale value and the remaining car loan. This was primarily due to my employer not paying me 2 months of my salary.

Add to all of that, I got ulcers in my eyes which meant that I lost my eye-sight and was in excruciating pain. I had to wear shades even in the dark as I was sensitive to any light. We had to re-home 5 cats Rizmiya rescued. We were going to adoption day after adoption day. We had a few failed adoptions. We had to go through difficulty at the customs in Sri Lanka when getting down two of our cats. Rizmiya’s ankle was pretty bad.

After moving countries from Dubai to Singapore, we misplaced our baggages. One of the baggages had all the money we had brought from Dubai. Pretty much all our money was in that suitcase, and we managed to lose it.

Cotton fell ill and was at the vets for over 45 days. We ended up spending a 3rd of our total savings on his vet bills.

So 2017 was hard. It traumatised me to such an extent that I am still emotionally recovering from its after-effects.

But through the pain, there was beauty too.

Rizmiya and I learnt that our parents still have our backs. Rizmiya’s mom came over to Dubai to help us clean and arrange all our stuff so we can sell them for a good price.

My parents lent us money in a heartbeat. With no questions asked. I crossed paths with Saara, who was born in Pakistan, educated in Canada and moved to Dubai to join her husband Elvan. She and I are from completely different countries, we’ve not grown up together, our paths crossed simply due to working at DLBi. I had known her for possibly a little over a year. When she knew I was struggling with my car payment, she didn’t hesitate to lend me the money. I didn’t even ask her for it, she offered… A relative stranger, came to my rescue at a time I was going through one of the most difficult time of my life.

The cleaner, who found our luggage and returned it to the security staff at the Singapore airport. This stranger who I haven’t had the chance to meet, saved our family from ruin.

I had the opportunity to save Cotton’s life without getting into debt. I also managed to pay off AK, My parents, Rizmiya’s parents and Saara within 3 months of moving to Singapore. This year was also the year I’ve travelled most within a 12 month period. Most of them were paid for. I am completely debt free and on my way to building a fully funded emergency fund. I’ve also managed to work with an amazing boss and employer. Probably the best boss I’ve ever worked for.

I’m also grateful to my colleagues at work who happen to be a group of talented individuals whom I am proud to work alongside. I am also grateful to my clients.

Although I didn’t manage to achieve all my financial goals this year, I am currently in the best financial shape I have ever been.

Although 2017 was one of the most painful years I’ve every experienced, I am grateful to God for seeing me through and for guiding my heart through the pain. I look back and am shocked at what my wife and I had to endure this past year and we look  forward to 2018 where – insha’Allah – we will experience our biggest achievement yet… welcoming Daria into this world.

I ask Allah to accept from all those who helped us this year, forgive them their shortcomings and grant them abundance in wealth, health and unceasing joy in this world and the next.. Ameen

I ask Allah swt to make the coming year the best year to date.. Allahumma ameen

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Author: Shaad Hamid

Shaad Hamid is an Oxford based SEO and PPC blogger, consultant and citizen journalist. Shaad currently works for SEOptimise, a leading search engine and social media marketing agency. Shaad is passionate about internet marketing and is SEO and PPC lead for numerous clients ranging from diverse sectors such as E-Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Consultancy, Higher Education and Travel. In his spare time, Shaad loves cooking exotic and authentic Sri Lankan dishes, following the cricket and reading thought provoking literature. Find Shaad on Google