Famous poet, writer and TV personality Anwar Maqsood helped Pakistan Association Dubai sell more than 300 ‘bricks’ at the ‘own a brick event’ on Friday. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: The Pakistani community in the UAE have joined hands to build the first not-for-profit multi-speciality medical centre in Dubai

Pakistan Association in Dubai hosted Anwar Maqsood, renowned Pakistani scriptwriter, television host, satirist and humorist on Friday to support the medical centre as part of their ‘own a brick’ campaign to build the Dh12 million facility.

The event “Ek Shaam Pakistan Kay Naam” (An evening for Pakistan) saw community members from all walks of life come together and contribute by ‘owning a brick’ for Pakistan Medical Complex.

Maqsood regaled more than 500 people at a jam packed hall of the association, with his tongue-in cheek humour and helped the association sell more than 300 "bricks". Any one who wants to contribute to the construction of the project can own a brick for Dh1,000 and will also get lifetime membership of the association.

Pakistan Centre is a two-storey building which will provide state of the art health care facilities at an affordable cost to members of the society who are unable to bear burgeoning medical costs.

The project was inaugurated on Pakistan’s Independence Day this year. The ‘own a brick’ campaign encourages people to possess a share of 12,000 bricks that will help build the world’s largest community centre for overseas Pakistanis within a period of 18 months.

Many will come forward

Dr Faisal Ikram, general secretary of PAD said that among 1.4 million Pakistanis living in UAE, at least 12,000 would come forward and engrave their names on the bricks for the Dh12 million project. “This is a historical project. It’s a first ever not-for-profit health care facility to be built by expatriates at their community centre in the whole of GCC” said Dr Ikram.

He thanked the community members who took great interest in making contributions towards the noble cause.

Maqsood who was the guest of honour at the glittering evening said Pakistanis who lived abroad always showed great love for their country and their contribution was important in building the medical complex.

“It’s such a proud feeling to see Pakistanis build a centre for themselves. Brick by brick this building will give you a sense of ownership and your generations will take pride in claiming their parents were part of such a great cause” added Maqsood.

The television host also held an interactive session with the audience and also pledged to donate paintings to the centre and books for its library.

Moazzam Ahmad Khan, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UAE, said he was extremely happy to be a part of this noble cause. “This is my first visit to Pakistan Association Dubai and I am overwhelmed to see the Pakistani community so vibrant and united in fulfilling whatever they have planned for themselves”. Members who will own a brick will also be entitled for a long-term membership at PAD.

“The work on the centre will begin early next year and within a span of 18 months Pakistan Centre will stand tall providing remarkable services to Pakistanis” said Dr Zia UL Hassan, President of Pakistan Association Dubai.

The two storey building will have mosques for women and men, a theme restaurant, offices and seminar rooms on its ground floor, with a medical centre, fitness and rehab centre as well as seminar rooms on its first floor. A BBQ and children play area will be situated on the roof top. It will be build by demolishing the existing building of the association that was built in 1983.

The Community Development Authority has granted special permission for the first time to a social centre to build and operate a medical centre for people with financial constraints.