Abdulrzaq (Ab-dul-ra-zaq) Ali didn’t intend on immigrating to the United States from Yemen, but fate made him follow his heart.
“I came here as a tourist, and to visit my sister,” Ali said. “Then, I met the love of my life and we got married.”
That was in 1995. Fifteen years later, after losing his job as a driver for a company that went bankrupt, he applied to Metro Transit. The career change allowed him to buy a home in Fridley and to help his two eldest children graduate college, the first in their family to do so.
“I appreciate what transit has done for me,” he said. “This is a job I am proud of and will be for life.”
At one point, Ali investigated returning to college to finish his own degree. He discovered, however, that after four years of tuition, he’d make just as much as a bus operator.
“That’s when I decided to improve myself at transit,” Ali said. “People who aren’t in transit don’t know what they’re missing.”
Eight years ago, Ali began that journey by becoming a relief dispatcher, a highly detailed job that operators depend on daily. One day, he hopes to become an assistant transportation manager.
“There’s so many ways to learn and advance your career here, for free,” he said. “I love my job and I do it from the heart.”