Pakistani expat witnesses UAE’s glorious 50 years

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - Munawar Hussain (left) along with his family poses for a photograph.

Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter

The UAE is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and there are people from different expatriate communities who saw this ‘Golden’ journey through their eyes.

Munawar Hussain, a Pakistani expatriate, who has been residing in the country since 1970 is one of them.

He came along with a group of young passionate expatriates to explore the new market and earn a ‘good’ livelihood for his family.

Hailing from Sialkot, Hussain’s journey to reach was not easy or smooth.

He got his visa for Afghanistan but reached Tehran after crossing the Torkham border from where they first landed in Kabul.

From Tehran they were transported in open trucks to Bandar Abbas where they were ferried to Dubai along with 18 other ‘dreamers.’

Munauwar-Hussein-1-750x450Munawar Hussain receives an award from Crown Prince of Sharjah Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi. File

“We landed in Dubai on August 14, 1970 and my first job was as a painter but soon I got a job as an assistant in a photo studio on Naif Road in Dubai as I had the experience of developing photo films and different related jobs and wanted to continue as a photographer,” he told Gulf Today.

Hussain soon joined as a press photographer in Abu Dhabi media, with ‘Al Ittehad’ newspaper, and worked for 25 years in the UAE capital.

He also spent 25 years in Sharjah and Northern Emirates to witness its spectacular development into a land of fabulous high-rises, wonderful roads and attractive hotels and holiday destinations.

“I was lucky to get a job in my field and not only did I witness the massive growth in the UAE through my own eyes but also captured all the important milestones with my camera,” he said.

He covered the historical signing ceremony of unification at Ittehad House in Dubai in 1971, the First Gulf War, and completion of major projects from scratch, among other developments.

MUnauwar-Hussein-2-750x450Munawar Hussain is being honoured at an event. File

He got numerous awards, acknowledgments and certificates from different Rulers on his dedication to the service.

“Earlier there were few landmarks such as famous Electra Building in Abu Dhabi, Clock Tower in Dubai and old Rolla trees in Sharjah. Then we saw the transformation from a desert terrain into the world’s most liveable cities because of the vision of great leaders like late Sheikh Zayed, Sheikh Saeed, Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Sultan and others. It was because of their hard work and vision that we spend our whole lives in this country with our families,” he said.

Hussain has been residing in Sharjah with his family. He married in 1975 and was blessed with three daughters and one son. Two of his daughters are married and live in Abu Dhabi while one resides in Sharjah. His son, after completing his education, pursued his career in different firms in the UAE but after some time moved to Pakistan where he established himself.

“We are blessed and thankful to the UAE for providing a safe environment to grow and live along with other communities in harmony,” he said.

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