From left: Ayaz Afridi and Salim Karsaz from the Shahid Afridi Foundation, Dr Faisal Ekram and Mohammad Zaim, representative of Pakistan Association Dubai, at the press conference. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Pakistan’s star cricketer Shahid Afridi has joined hands with Pakistan Association Dubai to provide support in building the first non-for-profit medical centre.

As part of its ‘Own A Brick’ campaign to build the medical centre, Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) in collaboration with the Shahid Afridi Foundation will hold an event on October 20 to raise awareness among the community to encourage them to own bricks for the landmark project.

Construction cost of the Dh12-million medical centre is being covered with a novel concept of owning a brick and the cost of each brick is Dh1,000. Anyone who buys a brick also gets 10-year membership of the association. 
Afridi has pledged to cover the cost of the fitness centre, which will be part of the medical centre by purchasing 1,000 bricks (Dh1 million) through his foundation.

“It is an honour for us that an influential figure like Afridi has come forward and helped us campaign for ‘Own A Brick’. We believe that the community needs to take responsibility and contribute towards this noble cause,” said Dr Faisal Ekram, PAD general secretary, while addressing a press conference in Dubai on Wednesday. He said the PAD has already got pledges of Dh8 million from community members and prominent businessmen for the project.

He said construction work on the Pakistan Medical Centre would start soon and it would open on August 14, 2019.

Saleem Karsaz, Dubai-based director of Shahid Afridi Foundation, said. “PAD has always worked towards the betterment of expatriate Pakistanis and Shahid Afridi Foundation is proud to collaborate for a project of this magnitude. The vision of our chairman remains very clear, to serve Pakistanis no matter they be in any part of the world.”

Shahid Afridi Foundation and PAD have also endorsed the Dubai Fitness Challenge announced by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, an initiative that aims to make Dubai the most active city in the world.

The #Dxb30x30 will run from October 20 until November 18 and as a community organisation, PAD is taking the lead by supporting the fitness cause and hosting an event with a leading sports figure to raise awareness about health and fitness.

The first 100 people who would register for the fitness challenge on behalf of PAD would receive fitness watches to help them track their fitness activities and at the end of the challenge, those who have performed well would be given special gifts.

Those who want to attend the Shahid Afridi event at PAD can contact the association on 04-3373632.