On Friday, February 3rd 2023, Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) and Poetic Strokes collaborated to present A Tribute to Faiz Ahmed Faiz: An Evening with Adeel Hashmi, at the Pakistan Auditorium, PAD. The event was organised in support of Pakistan Medical Centre (PMC), which is the GCC’s first not-for-profit healthcare facility providing quality healthcare to people of all nationalities in the UAE. PMC has served over 40,000 patients since its opening in October 2020, while a significant majority of them were provided free treatment. Over 300 people from all walks of life gathered on Friday to pledge their continued support for the healthcare facility.
Actor and motivational speaker, Adeel Hashmi flew down from Pakistan to entertain the audience with a mesmerising poetry recital as a tribute to his grandfather and legendary Pakistani poet, Faiz Ahmed Faiz. His enchanting recital left the crowd in awe as they listened to soulful tunes by pianist Asad Anees and relished in the magical world of Faiz. One of the most era-defining poets of all time, Faiz was a celebrated Pakistani author and poet who pioneered Urdu and Punjabi literature. We aimed to honour his work through our platform on the occasion of his birthday which is marked on February 13th.
President PAD, Dr Faisel Ikram addressed the occasion with a reflection on the PAD-PMC journey so far. He thanked our Medical Wing, donors, supporters and the UAE authorities for materialising our dream project which once seemed impossible to build. Dr Faisel talked at length about our way forward in ensuring we achieve bigger milestones in the years to come. “The beauty of this association and Centre is that its volunteer Central. People have a platform for institutionalised volunteering which you don’t find anywhere else. We want to make this project sustainable and operational. This will be achieved if we have a mechanism where people contribute on a regular basis. You helped us raise the place with Own a Brick. You own it. With Brick a Month, now we want to engage people in every tier of society starting from AED 200-AED 10,000 a month. With that, we will ensure sustained support from the community on a monthly basis. PMC is just the beginning. Our vision is to expand this centre into a hospital. It is certainly possible if we do it together. Together we serve, together we rise,” said President PAD.
Poetry enthusiasts, literature fans, businessmen and philanthropists were in attendance who claimed their invitations upon the ownership of a brick (each worth AED 1000) in support of Pakistan Medical Centre – which also entitled them to a PAD membership. The generous supporters and donors of PMC have facilitated our mission to make healthcare accessible to all with over 40,000 lives impacted and 54 nationalities served. A documentary narrating some moving patient accounts of how PMC has made a difference to their lives was also presented to the audience.
Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE, His Excellency Faisal Niaz Tirmizi joined our special evening and paid a fitting tribute to Faiz Ahmed Faiz in his speech. He said, “Faiz was a revolution, a message, a visionary poet whose legacy continues to live on till today.”
The event, organised in support of PMC, saw a large number of people rallying to contribute their shares towards the cause. Located on the Iqbal Manzil (floor) of the main block of PAD, the medical centre has a range of over sixteen specialties with fully equipped cardiology, ophthalmology, dentistry, physiotherapy units amongst many others. It is functional seven days a week and serves patients of all backgrounds through a hybrid model of self-pay, insurance, and welfare. The centre treats all its welfare patients through its Zakat and Sadaqah pool of donations which is supported by the community at large. Our team is led by our dedicated staff and 41 volunteer specialists and experts from the city’s leading healthcare facilities who devote their time to serve the cause.
Ayesha Imtiaz, Founder/CEO of Poetic Strokes said: “As an ardent supporter of Pakistan Medical Center, Poetic Strokes is proud to co-organize this beautiful evening and become a part of this great cause. Adeel Hashmi and Asad Anees did justice to Faiz’s magical poetry. Such literary events should happen more often as they bring out the diversity of the unmatched city of Dubai and reflects the strength of the city’s fabric. Humbled by the amount of praise we have received from the audience and the support in the form of pledges for the Medical Center. The sense of togetherness and pride I saw at the event has been a truly heartwarming and inspiring experience.”
In its novel community engagement initiatives, PMC proudly launched an outreach program where the team visited schools to offer free healthcare screenings for young children and also spread awareness around the importance of oral hygiene and good eye health practices. The PMC Internship Program was also launched to offer students with a unique early career experience where they had an opportunity to enhance their professional skills in healthcare, human resources, marketing, finance, administration, IT, all while giving back to the community.
The Own a Brick campaign which kicked off in August 2016 helped construct the world’s largest community centre for Overseas Pakistanis that houses the Pakistan Medical Centre. The AED 20 million project is also home to Shahid Afridi Health and Fitness Centre, Brick Café, Hub47, Hunarkadah, seminar and conference rooms.
The construction of the project was completed in 2020 and Pakistan Medical Centre commenced operations in October of the same year. The event on Friday evening was held in a bid to raise funds to support the ongoing operations of the medical centre and maintain our sustainable model in the long run.
Fondly known as the Nightingale of Pakistan, we also took the occasion to pay our tribute to Pakistani ghazal singer, Nayyara Noor, who passed away late last year.
Special thanks to our partners for helping us make the event an incredible success.