Bidding Good Bye to the Kingdom After 35 Years of Stay

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Former President of Pakistan Writers Club–Riyadh  (aka: PWC) – Syed Bashir Ahmed – decided to hang his hat and bid good bye to the desert Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after living and working here for about 35 years. PWC hosted a farewell dinner reception for him in a local hotel which was attended by a large number of Pakistanis representing all walks and shades of life.

The farewell event commenced with a brief note from its Patron-in-Chief – Faiz Al-Najdi – who explained that this event was to honor its former President on the eve of his departure, on final exit, for Pakistan. He then invited PWC incumbent President – Choudhry Rehmat Ali – to take his seat on the stage followed with the chief Guest of the evening – Syed Bashir Ahmed – to also take his seat on the stage.

Faiz Al-Najdi described Syed Bashir Ahmed as a sedate gentleman who was a man of many virtues. He informed that his services for PWC were many and that he would always be remembered for his unstinted loyalty to PWC and for his commitment to serve the Club with honesty, hard work and above all for his selfless contributions for bettering the image of PWC before the Pakistani community in Riyadh.

Prof. Rafiq Gohar – a senior member of PWC – said Syed Bashir served the club selflessly and always kept a low profile and never indulged in self-projection. Zubair Bhatti said Syed Bashir did all the best for PWC and he found him to be a respectable person who gave respects to all. Waseem Sajid – General Secretary of Pakistan Thinkers Forum – spoke very high about Syed Bashir. He said PWC was the only organization where he could learn many a thing for it has many learned personalities and Syed Bashir was one of them. Jahanzeb Minhas representing Insaaf Social Society (aka: ISS) – a cultural wing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf – expressed his sadness at the fact that Syed Bashir was leaving the Kingdom for good. Bashir Mirza – a noted writer – expressed his best of wishes for Syed Bashir as according to him he was very fortunate that he was leaving for his home hale and hearty and in good spirit.

Waqar Wamiq – a popular poet – expressed his feelings by reciting a quatrain dedicated to him. Ayman Zaheer – a young member of PWC – said he in fact joined PWC as its member during the tenure of Presidency of Syed Bashir and he was very proud of working under him. He also read some poetry lines in praise of him. Rashid Mahmood But – Information Secretary of PML-N in Riyadh – praised Syed Bashir for being a very effective President of PWC. Zahoor Ul Hasan – Vice President of ANP Riyadh – speaking on the occasion first of all thanked PWC for inviting him to speak for his friend – Syed Bashir. He said he found syed Bashir to be a nice jolly good fellow.

Fayyaz Khan – President PPP Riyadh region – said that it was easy to welcome someone but very difficult to say good bye. He added that he was sad at the thought that Syed Bashir was leaving for good for Pakistan to rejoin his families there. Hafiz Abdul Waheed of Majlis Pakistan – a social wing of Jamat-e-Islami – said that it was a great honor for him to say here that Syed Bashir spent 35 years of his youth earning Rizq-e-Halal for his family. He added that this alone was a very praise worthy act as he did all of this living in a difficult condition away from his near and dear ones. Dr. Mahmud Bajwa – Finance professional and an activist of PML-N – said Syed Bashir was a good person who earned his living here and served his family and the country in a most praise worthy manner. Mohammad Younus (aka: Abu Ghalib) said that Syed Bashir played a positive role while as a member and President of PWC. He praised him for using his pen righteously. Sanobar Sani – a senior and a founding member of PWC – was all praise for Syed Bashir. He praised him for his excellent presidency and also spoke very high for being a very good parent. He said he raised all his children very well and all of them are well educated and good persons of the society.

Faiz Al-Najdi before inviting Syed Bashir to deliver his speech as the Chief Guest of the event reminded the audience that Syed Bashir was a very useful worker in the printing and publishing section of King Saudi University. During his 35 years of stay in KSU he saved millions of Riyals as all of the works of printing and publishing, proof reading of the Conference proceedings and other business publishing works of the University was single-handedly managed by Syed Bashir.

Syed Bashir began his speech by thanking PWC members especially its president – Choudhry Rehmat Ali – for hosting a farewell dinner reception in his honor. He also thanked all the speakers for speaking kind words for him. He informed that his grandparents had migrated to Bombay-India from Swat. He added that he was brought up in Bombay and went to English medium schools over there. As such he couldn’t learn Urdu. So although he could speak broken Urdu but he couldn’t read and write Urdu script and always wrote Urdu in roman script. He informed that although he was leaving the Kingdom for good but his hearts and minds shall continue to live here as he has spent most parts of his life – especially his youth – here amongst so many friends that he was able to make here. He promised to stay in touch with everybody.

Choudhry Rehmat Ali – incumbent President of PWC – thanked each and everyone for responding to the invite and gracing the occasion at such a short notice. He also thanked members of PWC for their support. He thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques – King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud – for being kind and compassionate towards the Pakistanis – and for allowing to host such cultural and social events. Finally, he thanked and praised Syed Bashir for his excellent presidency of PWC in which he also served as his General Secretary. Choudhry Rehmat Ali presented a memento shield to Syed Bashir in recognition of his services of long standing for the Club. Earlier on senior member Sanobar Sani also presented a Photo Album to him that consisted of many historic pics from various PWC events featuring Syed Bashir.

About Faiz Al-Najdi

My actual name is Syed Faiz Ahmad and I use a pen-name (nom de plume) of Faiz Al-Najdi. I am basically a civil and structural engineer and write (in English) for passion only. I grew up in Karachi-Pakistan, accomplished bachelors degree in civil engineering from NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi and later obtained a masters degree in Structural Enginering from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok-Thailand. I am presently living & working in Riyadh-Saudi Arabia since April 1997. I work as Chief Structural Engineer for M/S Saudi Oger Ltd – a large construction contractor in Saudi Arabia. I write on current affairs and also on light reading for common readers on issues that appeal to me from time to time. I am inspired with Art Buchwald.

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