Shaikh Nahyan launches the ‘Junior Brick’ campaign, which lets children symbolically own a brick as contribution to the building of the Pakistan Medical Centre, in Dubai. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Continue championing the enormous potential and values of your people and country, Pakistani expatriates in the UAE were told on Tuesday night as they celebrated their country’s 71st Independence Day.

Pakistani expatriates gathered at the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) Auditorium on Tuesday night to mark their country’s independence from British rule since 1947. The event was jointly hosted by Pakistan Embassy and the PAD.

Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance, joined the celebrations as the evening’s chief guest hosted by Pakistan Ambassador Moazzem Ahmad Khan and PAD officials. Senior officials from the Community Development Authority and Dar Al Ber Society and members of the diplomatic corps were also present.

Shaikh Nahyan presents the Pakistan Day Award to Khalfan Khalifa Al Mazroui of Dar Al Ber Society in the presence of Moazzem Ahmad Khan, Brig (Retd) Syed Javed Hassan, Dr Omar Al Muthanna and Dr Faisal Ikram. Clint Egbert/Gulf News

During the ceremony, Shaikh Nahyan also launched the ‘Junior Brick’ campaign where children get to symbolically own a brick as contribution to the building of the Pakistan Medical Centre in front of the PAD Auditorium.

Watch: Former Pakistan Association president talks about Pakistan Medical Centre.

A child can own as many bricks as he wants, with each brick costing Dh100. All proceeds will go to the paediatric services of the medical centre that is currently under construction.

The not-for-profit health care facility has partnered with Dar Al Ber Society to be its charity partner.

On the occasion, Shaikh Nahyan lauded the founding fathers of Pakistan and new leaders who have been peacefully elected to continue promoting stability and the rule of law in Pakistan to kindle hope for the future.

Sinan Ashfaq accepts the award on behalf of his brother Ammar. Clint Egbert/Gulf News

“As the world’s sixth most populous country, occupying one of the most strategically important locations on earth, Pakistan is an influential global leader,” Shaikh Nahyan said.

Watch: Pakistani artists showcase their art about Pakistan and UAE ties.

Shaikh Nahyan also thanked the 1.4 million Pakistani expatriates for their contributions to the UAE.

“One has only to know all of you who are sitting in this auditorium tonight to understand the enormous potential of Pakistan. You have impressed the global population of the UAE with your skills, your competence, your internal spirit, your civic responsibility, your allegiance to sound moral values and your ability to succeed in a global economy,” he said.

“You have shared in and contributed to the prosperity and well-being that marks the UAE. Our country is grateful to you and your Pakistani predecessors. Our country is proud to count the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as a great friend.”

“Our friendship is here to stay,” Shaikh Nahyan said.

Dr Nighat Aftab of PAD’s Medical Wing receives her award. Clint Egbert/Gulf NewsP

Ambassador Khan, for his part, recognised the contribution of Pakistani nationals as well as Emiratis, both individuals as well as entities, who have excelled in their spheres of activities.

“Today, we not only pay tribute to our founding fathers but also recognise our friends and benefactors who have always been a source of strength and support. I count the UAE foremost on that,” he said.

The recipients of the Pakistan Day Awards are Shahab Haider of The Citizen Foundation; Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of Gulf News; Col Khalid Al Suwaidi, in-charge of Al Wathba Jail in Abu Dhabi; Sohail Abdul Latif Galadari of Khaleej Times; Dr Nighat Aftab of the Medical Wing of PAD; Ammar Ashfaq, a Taekwondo player who represented Pakistan in various international competitions; and Dr Omar Al Muthanna from CDA, among others.


Winners of Pakistan Day Award

■  Shahab Haider, The Citizen Foundation
■  Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief of Gulf News
■  Ahmad Darwesh Al Muhairi, Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department
■  Khalfan Khalifa Al Mazroui, Dar Al Ber Society
■  Col Khalid Al Suwaidi, in-charge of Al Wathba Jail in Abu Dhabi
■  Dr Nighat Aftab of the Medical Wing of PAD
■  Ammar Ashfaq Ahmed, Taekwondo player
■  Sohail Abdul Latif Galadari of Khaleej Times
■  Dr Omar Al Muthanna, CEO of the Social Regulation and Licensing Sector at Dubai’s CDA
■  Mohammad Abdullah Al Zarouni, Emirates Red Crescent
■  Ayesha Imtiaz, Poetic Strokes
■  Iskandar Sultan Khwaja, director of Pakistan Business Council Dubai
■  Dr Javed Ahmad Raza
■  Shobika Kaira, Wings of Angelz