Shahid Afridi bats for Pakistan Centre in Dubai
Dubai - A Pakistan cricket team shirt went for 25 bricks, and two bats were owned at 50 and 60 bricks each
By Saman Haziq
Published: Tue 28 Feb 2017, 4:25 PM
Last updated: Tue 28 Feb 2017, 8:39 PM
Over 350 people became a part of legendary cricketer Shahid Afridi's team to play an innings for Pakistan Centre at Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) on Monday evening.
The gala evening was a first-ever joint event by Shahid Afridi Foundation and PAD in order to encourage community members to own a brick in the Dh12-million project.
The 'Own a Brick' campaign, which encourages people to possess a share of 12,000 bricks (of Dh1,000 each), will help build the world's largest community centre for overseas Pakistanis within a period of 18 months.
Shahid Afridi Foundation has taken the responsibility of raising 1,000 bricks to build a Health and Fitness Centre at the Pakistan Centre, which will be named after Afridi's foundation. Pakistan Centre will be a not-for-profit centre providing state-of-the-art facilities at an affordable cost.
The centre will encompass Pakistan Medical Centre, Health and Fitness Centre, a theme restaurant, ladies and gents mosque, administrative offices, seminar rooms, BBQ area and children's play area.
The former captain of the Pakistan cricket team was overwhelmed at the response of the Pakistani community supporting the not-for-profit medical centre. Afridi said: "My foundation constantly works for the underprivileged in the rural areas of Pakistan, especially in the Thar area where there is scarcity of water. We never see who we are serving, our mission is to serve humanity."
Afridi tweeted: "Proud that @SAFoundationN is a part of Pakistan Center project, overwhelmed by the response from the Pakistani community in DXB #HopeNotOut"
The audience also saw a presentation of Shahid Afridi Foundation and Pakistan Association Dubai giving them an overview that how both the organisations work.
"Dh6.4million has already been pledged by the Pakistani community and we are looking forward for our countrymen in the UAE to own more bricks and become a part of this landmark project" said Dr Faisel Ikram, general secretary of PAD.
He added that it's a privilege that Shahid Afridi Foundation has become a part of this landmark project and once the building is completed, it will be a source of pride for 1.4 million Pakistanis living in the UAE.
A memorandum of understanding was signed between PAD president Dr Zia Ul Hassan and SAF chairman Shahid Khan Afridi. In addition, a shield was also unveiled bearing the name of the foundation that will be placed outside the Health and Fitness Centre.
Saleem Karsaz, director SAF-Dubai, said: "Our foundation is ready to work for Pakistanis anywhere around the globe and this is one of the first steps we have taken to join hands with PAD."
There were several cricket accessories autographed by Shahid Afridi that were given to the audience who pledged bricks against each item. While two cricket balls were bought at five bricks and 10 bricks respectively, a cap was bought in return of five bricks.
A Pakistan cricket team shirt went for 25 bricks, and two bats were owned at 50 and 60 bricks each.
The Community Development Authority, Dubai has granted a special permission for the first time to a social centre to build and operate a medical centre for people with financial restraints.