Rising by lifting others


Rising by lifting others
Dr. Zia ul Hasan, President Pakistan Association Dubai

Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) Community welfare remains one of the institution's foremost objectives

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Published: Sun 13 Aug 2017, 3:25 PM

Last updated: Sun 13 Aug 2017, 7:35 PM

Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) is the most reputable institution and voice of over 1.5 million Pakistanis residing in the UAE. It is a volunteer, non-profit, social, welfare and cultural organisation of the expatriate Pakistanis registered with the Community Development Authority, Government of Dubai.
Since its inception in 1963 at a small rented office in Murshid Bazaar, PAD has grown from strength to strength and currently stands as a well-established entity on the land gifted by the late H.H. Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum in 1973.
PAD is the spirit and palpitation of many Pakistanis; a reality to their dreams, a stature of hope and a body of pride. Pakistanis in the UAE who have come all over from the deserts of Mehran, the skirting hills of Bolan, the agricultural beauties of Punjab, the cascades of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and the heavenly spectacle of Kashmir, are all united under one slogan: "We are Pakistanis-we are one."
Community welfare remains one of the foremost objectives of PAD. It constantly serves the community by organising cultural, social, sports and educational programmes along with a number of welfare activities. Pakistan's founding father, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah said, "The success of our achievement will depend upon our unity, discipline and faith, not only in ourselves, but in Allah who determines the destinies of people and nations".
Living by these principles, the Association has the honour of being one-of-its-kind and is always on its toes to serve the community in the best possible fashion. Currently, 12 professional wings of PAD are diligently working in their own nature and capacity, which include Professionals Wing, Medical Wing, Journalist Forum, PIC-IBA, ICAP Wing, Pakistan Youth Forum, Pak Chinar Wing, Pak Khyber Wing, Marine Wing and IT Wing.
On March 23 this year, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of State for Tolerance inaugurated PAD's Niaz Muslim Library established in memory of late Niaz Muslim, a Down Syndrome child.
We take pride in giving individuals a platform to affiliate themselves with and voice their concerns within the community after which assistance of all type starts pouring in.
PAD provides support to the under privileged of the society in various forms i.e. assistance with school fees, health consultancy, payment of medical bills and house rents, legal aids, food packages, facilitating prisoners release, etc. The Association has also been actively involved in the relief and rehabilitation projects during natural disasters in Pakistan. The community welfare activities include:

Education: PAD has always spearheaded the campaign to provide financial assistance to those school children in the UAE who can't afford school fees. This year, under the slogan "Education is Every Children's Basic Right" PAD stood up for the underprivileged students and stirred the community to contribute so that finances don't interrupt a child's education. Last year the association and community raised a total of Dh479, 000 as school fees for those who were struggling financially.
The Pakistan Professionals Wing also plays an integral role in granting scholarships to those who deserve and need them. Furthermore, PAD has signed MOUs with various local universities providing scholarships for postgraduate students.
In 2010, PAD set up an orphanage titled Parwarish in Swat, Pakistan, in which currently 234 students are studying and are adopted by the Pakistani community in the UAE. The project has been immensely successful, therefore this year PAD is working on its expansion and the upcoming facility will adopt more than 500 students.
We believe in training the trainers; so we hold teacher training workshops to help them enhance their skills and upgrade their standards. Our Youth Forum constantly organises youth enhancement workshops for Pakistani students in community schools.
Cultural: PAD celebrates all the national occasions of Pakistan and UAE with great enthusiasm every year. Stage dramas and literary events are regularly organised round the year wherein well-known poets across Pakistan and the UAE participate and enthral the audience.
These types of events are held regularly for children and adults in order to invigorate the spirit of Urdu language. Additionally, the newly opened Niaz Muslim Library at PAD has the largest resource of Urdu literature in the UAE and also serves as an e-library.
A "Solidarity Walk" is held every year by the Pakistani community on December 2 to show solidarity with the UAE.

Sports: PAD Sports Arena is a facility in which seven sports can be played namely cricket, football, hockey, and lawn tennis amongst many others. Martial arts and taekwondo classes are also given at ?the venue.

Social Initiatives: The welfare committee serves to be a beacon of hope for the disadvantaged families and accommodates all their needs. In Ramadan alone this year, 1,200 less fortunate families were each given a voucher worth Dh350 to fulfil their needs.
A number of Pakistani prisoners remain in prison even after serving their sentences due to lack of funds. PAD with the assistance of Pakistan consulate helps them fly back home with gifts and smiles.
Numerous activities are held under the social initiative banner, which benefits the community in several ways.
The Association also has a facility, Pakistan Auditorium, a 750 seating capacity that sufficiently caters for our social need of the community like networking events, cultural shows, wedding events, birthday parties, stage dramas, symposia room, E-library, conference hall, education events, arts and exhibition. The atmosphere is fantastic for families and all age groups.
We are highly grateful to the Government of UAE who have given us the opportunity to keep our national spirits alive through PAD. I urge all Pakistanis to come forward, join and own the Association and seek support for the role you wish to practice for Pakistan while living in Dubai, UAE.
-The author is the President of Pakistan Association Dubai.

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