Farman Hyder (in yellow shirt) with stranded Pakistanis in Abu Dhabi.
Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter
Farman Hyder, a social worker in Abu Dhabi, has turned saviour for hundreds of Pakistanis who have been stranded in the UAE since March in the wake of a lockdown due to the COVID-19. Community members residing in different emirates are praising highly the humane acts of this kind-hearted expatriate, who has helped scores of his compatriots in various ways, including arranging air tickets on special repatriation flights.
Hyder, who has been residing in Abu Dhabi since 1986, is an engineer supervisor in a power plant. He has been serving the community wholeheartedly and paying for the expenses of needy people from other communities also from his own pocket.
Besides helping in arranging air tickets for stranded community members, his move to help injured and sick expats with medical assistance and in returning home through special flights, have come in for special praise.
“When I landed in Abu Dhabi in the mid ’80s, I found that there were many community members seeking help on various issues but it was difficult as everyone was busy and the needy people became more desperate. At that time I decided to help the distressed people myself with my own resources, from money through contacts I made in the various levels of the society,” he told Gulf Today.
Hyder has not only been spending half of his salary on humanitarian work but also motivating his friends and colleagues to extend help for those in extremely poor financial health.
“People in dire need approach me round the clock with requests, be it a medical treatment or a job, and I am always ready to do whatever lies within my powers. I have friends with sound financial background who on my behalf contribute money without any objection to help fulfil needy people’s medical needs,” he added.
“The philanthropic work gives me a unique satisfaction and I always pray to Almighty Allah to give enough to support my family and all the underprivileged people around me and so far I have not been discouraged,” he said.
Available round the clock on his phone, Hyder receives untimely calls, either late in the night or in the wee hours of morning, from needy people seeking his help to resolve issues which may not be linked to money.
In the last over three decades, Hyder has been honoured on many occasions by the community’s seniors and different organisations from all over the UAE for his extraordinary humanitarian work, without discriminating on basis of colour, caste or religion.
Besides philanthropic work for the community, Hyder has a passion for photography and does not miss any important function in the Pakistan Embassy, Abu Dhabi. For this, he is one of the most known faces for all the staff, including Ambassadors who are on a three-year tenure.
He has met all known political leaders from Pakistan and cricketers visiting the capital including the late Benazir Bhutto, Asif Zardari, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Salman Khan and a number of others who were told about his countless humanitarian services towards the disadvantaged.
Since the recent lockdown started in March, scores of stranded Pakistanis have been visiting the Embassy and PIA booking office to get tickets for special repatriation flights but have been unable to do so due to either lack of information or unavailability of officials to arrange their flights.
Hyder has become a ray of hope for scores of such people, who spend hours outside the PIA booking office in Abu Dhabi without any food or shelter but are desperate to go back home as soon as possible since they have lost their jobs.
“My prayers are being answered as God is providing me all the tools I need, including good health, sound financial position, kind friends and an admirable community circle, to serve the needy people in the name of humanity. I will continue despite any hurdles or failure,” he added.
An earlier report said hundreds of stranded Pakistani community members gathered outside the Consulate for getting a place on a special repatriation flights. The open air tent with two regular air-cooling fans was not enough to give them any relief.
Officials on the condition of anonymity told Gulf Today on Tuesday that the makeshift tent was set up recently for the stranded community members.
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