I was at Mall of the Emirates running some errands last evening when I received a call. Knowing it was one that demanded concentration, I stood on the side next to a wall and away from the human traffic.
In front of me was an escalator. I noticed a young lady, standing at the bottom of the escalator and it seemed that her Abaya got caught in the mechanical steps.
I kept looking at her as she stood there for almost good minute and I was thinking "OK, she will free herself any moment now.... any moment."
That didn't happen and she started struggling between trying to pull the end of her Abaya out of the escalator teeth-like edge and holding on to it so that it doesn't fall off her body or pull her down to the ground.
I was thinking: "okay, any minute now.... someone will help her.. someone should notice by now.." By then, I completely lost focus on the ongoing phone call.
Then I noticed that people were casually passing by from behind her, seeing that she is stuck, basically doing nothing to help and walking away.
A couple of guys slowed down but kept their distance with no one attempting to break her free. I think the fact that she was wearing a Abaya intimated them.
I looked up and spotted a security guard standing at the upper end. He obviously did not notice all the action downstairs.
I yelled: "Hey security! Security!"
When you yell like that, in a rather echo-y mall, a lot will pay attention and a lot did. Except the security guy who was basically about 10 feet away from me.
It took 2 or 3 loud yells to grab his attention.
"STOP the escalator!", I said when he looked in my direction.
He gave me a brief "WTF" look and looked the other way. I assumed he either didn't hear or understand me. I presumed the latter.
"HEY SECURITY... ESCALATOR, STOP"
He looked again, saw me pointing to the lady who's Abaya is now starting to shred, but still stuck. He slammed the big red emergency stop button and rushed down to help the damsel in distress and cut her loose.
I got back to my phone call.