Lost in a taxi  MAY 13 2008

A short list of items lost in taxi cabs and how they were returned.

Thierry Belisha and Haimy Mann, jewelers from Montreal, left a suitcase full of diamonds and other gems in the back of a cab they took to La Guardia Airport after a show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Mr. Belisha, an Orthodox Jew, called several rabbi friends in Israel and asked them to pray for him, prayers that were answered when Hossam Abdalla, a Muslim cabdriver, found Mr. Belisha's business card in the trunk and returned the suitcase (with all the gems).

The list is a sidebar to the story about a cabbie's return of a $4 million Stradivarius to its owner and subsequent concert performed in the Newark airport taxi holding area, a delightful piece of reporting.

But despite the setting -- or maybe because of it -- Mr. Quint's audience seemed particularly moved by his gesture. "I like that he came here," Ebenezer Sarpeh, 46, said, in the accent of his native Ghana. "And, yeah, the music, I like it." It was Mr. Sarpeh who burst into spontaneous applause on several occasions and started yelling "magic fingers" during one particularly deft moment. Later, he took a turn in front of the stage and his fellow cabdrivers laughed and cheered while he shimmied and moonwalked, the Newark Taxi Cab Association's answer to Justin Timberlake.

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