The definition of hero, a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities, applies to both men who have been selected to receive the honor of Hospitality Hero by Explore St. Louis. Kamar Harleem and Admir Smajic were chosen for separate acts of heroism that each of them performed in service to the community. We, at St. Louis County Cab, congratulate and honor Kamar and Admir for being outstanding gentlemen and taxi drivers.
Kamar Harleem was chosen for his life-saving act of heroism on January 13, 2016. As was told to us by a passenger and long-time customer, Kamar spotted a young man lying behind a vehicle next to the road. Recognizing that there was a person in distress, Kamar calmly but quickly turned around and returned to the person in need. The young man was in the midst of a seizure which was brought on by a serious medical condition for which he was being treated. Kamar’s ability to remain calm and make the right decisions at every critical turn allowed for emergency treatment to be south, provided and to end this story in a positive way. When asked about these events, Kamar hesitated to describe his involvement. He didn’t want this recognition for what he did. He did it simply because it was the right thing to do and he was in the position to do what was right when it was needed. For this, Kamar Harleem is a 2016 Hospitality Hero as chosen by Explore St. Louis.
Admir was chosen Hospitality Hero for a less dramatic but no less heroic event in January. This event is best described by the customer who submitted it to us: “Please thank driver Admir of Cab #626 for driving us home from St. Clair Hospital today (1/9/16, 11:00 a.m.) during the brief but ugly snow squall. My husband was discharged from the hospital with a heavily-bandaged, non-weight- bearing foot following serious surgery. In fact the trip began by keeping Admir waiting outside while the nurses finished their work and brought us down. Sorry for the delay! Our driveway is short but very steep and slick when it snows. Admir was able to back his vehicle part way up, and then pushed my husband’s wheelchair up-hill through the extremely slippery snow and slush into the dry garage. This took strength and determination, and he was also concerned for my safety as I made my way on foot. Finally, he saw us safely up a short flight of stairs into the kitchen and made sure that my husband was seated in a chair. Truly this was not just courteous, it was heroic! Please let him know what an important role he played in our lives today.” Most sincerely, Cathy (age 68) and Thomas (age 67), Grateful Passengers
Heroism takes on many forms in our lives. Sometimes it is a dramatic act during extraordinary circumstances. Most often, heroism is an extraordinary act during non-dramatic circumstances. What remains consistent is that heroes exist everywhere and in every occupation. Kamar and Admir, you were both heroes to people in a time of need. You make yourselves, your families, us and your industry proud!