Abu Dhabi: For Farman Haider, paying even 50 per cent of his monthly income to help a stranger is no big deal.
The 52 year-old mechanical engineer in the capital Haider has been working to assist people in need for nearly 20 years, even borrowing from banks when required.
I have always been able to balance my time, and my family’s regular support motivated me to keep up with what I have been doing for the past two decades.”
“The hardest case I have encountered was trying to help Benish Khan, a 13 year-old child who was suffering from adolescent idiopathic scoliosis since childhood,” Haider said.
“Two months ago, I was able to get three Emirati citizens to donate Dh160,000 as a support for her operation,” he added.
Haider was also involved in helping Khalid Aziz, a 12 year-old Indian boy who studies at the Shaikh Khalifa Pakistani School and suffered from brain tumor seven years ago. The young boy had to undergo an important operation, yet he did not have enough money to do so.
“I donated money from my personal account and searched for blood donors to help the patient survive,” Haider said.
Both children are now doing well.
Apart from assisting the treatment of patients afflicted by spinal cord injuries, breast cancer, kidney failure and brain tumor, Haider provides other kinds of help.
“I have managed to find jobs for people, repatriate bodies to other countries within 12 hours and get embassy approval for when needed,” Haider said.
His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of the UAE and the emir of the capital and Her Highness Shaikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of Foreign Trade have been vital supporters of Haider’s generosity to people.
Despite being a father to three daughters and a son, Haider’s family commitments do not prevent him from helping needy people.
He has faced financial problems during his efforts five years ago; however, things are now back to normal, he told Gulf News.
“I have always been able to balance my time and my family’s regular support motivated me to keep up with what I have been doing for the past two decades,” he said.
Haider stressed that Jamil Khan, the Pakistani Ambassador to the UAE, has always encouraged him. And for his honorable deeds, the mechanical engineer and do-gooder has received many community awards from both Pakistani and Bangladesh embassies.
When asked what he gained from this experience, he said that saving people’s lives is a great accomplishment that anyone would aim to achieve.
“I don’t expect anything in return from anyone because I do this solely as a form of worship,” he said.
Haider, who has lived in Abu Dhabi for nearly 30 years, is currently working to build mosques in both Pakistan and Canada.
“My mother and a co-worker who helped me to initially secure employment in the UAE are my sources of inspiration,” Haider said.
He strongly encourages people to help others when they have a chance.
— Maisoon Mubarak are interns at Gulf News