Pak Community Express Joy at National Award for Dr. Riaz Khawaja

Pak Community Express Joy at National Award for Dr. Riaz Khawaja


 Riaz Khawaja

By Faiz Al-Najdi



In keeping with the age old tradition, President of Pakistan – Mamnoon Hussain – announced various civil and military awards on the eve of 14th August – the Independence Day of Pakistan.

For the overseas Pakistanis living and working in Saudi Arabia this news was received with bit of surprise and joy as one of their community leaders – Dr. Riaz Jawed Khawaja – was one of the recipients of one such award. Dr. Khawaja was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) for his services for the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia – and in particular for the Pakistani community in Riyadh.

Sitara-e-Imtiaz is the third highest honor and civilian award given by the State of Pakistan. It recognizes individuals who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of Pakistan, world peace, cultural or other significant public endeavors. And, this is probably the first time that an overseas Pakistani in Saudi Arabia has been bestowed with this honor.

Dr. Khawaja is a well-known personality among the Pakistani community in Riyadh. As a young man Dr. Khawaja arrived in the Kingdom way back in 1971. He served for 6years with the King Khalid Royal Medical Team. For 15 years he remained associated with Royal Conference Palace as Consultant Medical Affairs. Later on he worked for 10 years with Riyadh Central Hospital – at one time the biggest hospital of the Kingdom. He also remained a licensed Family Practitioner for 30 years until recently. Presently Dr. Khawaja is gainfully employed as Senior Physician at Arab Medical Dar – a renowned Medical Center in Riyadh.

Dr. Khawaja is well-known in the community for his social services. He remains the founder and lifetime chairman of Pakistan Cultural Group (aka: PCG) which he founded in 1984. He also has to his credit of being the founder and lifetime chairman of Pakistan Doctor’s Group which he founded in 1987.

He has been honored several times by various social & literary organizations of the Pakistani community in Riyadh. In 2007 Pakistan Writers Club honored him as the personality of the year. Dr. Khawaja has taken active part towards funds & relief collections for the victims of earthquake and floods in Pakistan. He has helped establish a free clinic at the Embassy of Pakistan for the low income Pakistani residents in Riyadh who cannot afford medical treatment. He engages in extending all kinds of help & assistance to needy Pakistani.

D. Khawaja was beaming with joy and satisfaction at this honor when Saudi Gazette met with him at his home. He thanked former ambassadors of Pakistan namely Ali Sherzai and Muhammad Naeem Khan for appreciating his services. He also thanked the Pakistani community members for their support to him.

The Pakistani community at large was also happy at this news and extended their felicitations to Dr. Khawaja in large numbers – via phone, emails and by visiting his home.

Muhammad Asghar Qureshi expressed his happiness at this news and mentioned that government of Pakistan should honor at least one overseas Pakistani every year. Shamshad Siddiqui mentioned that Dr. Khawaja was an iconic personality in Riyadh and that this award to him was in fact an honor for all Pakistanis in Riyadh. Engr. Jaleel Hasan was full of praise for Dr. Khawajaand mentioned that this was a well-deserved honor. Dr. Mansour and his wife Dr. Erum mentioned that his services were commendable and ranged from medical, social and welfare fields. Khalid Rana, Waseem Sajid and Younus Abu Ghalib described Dr. Khawaja as a nice and sedate gentleman and said that this was a well-deserved honor for him.Dr. Asad Roomi informed that the doctor’s community in Riyadh was elated at this news. According to him, they considered this as honor bestowed to the Pakistani Doctor’s Group. Rana Khalid Akram and Rana Khadim Hussain praised the government of Pakistan for awarding an overseas Pakistani with this honor. Dr. Mahmud Bajwa, Rashid Butt and Saeed Sheikh also praised this step by the government of Pakistan. They requested the government to continue to honor the overseas Pakistanis. Dr. Asif Qureshi, Syed Khawaja Nehal Uddin and Dr. Wardah Qureshi spoke very high of Dr. Khawaja and mentioned that this award though has come late but was a welcome omen for the Pakistani community in Saudi Arabia.

Faiz Al-Najdi is a Riyadh Based Professional Engineer, a Writer and a Social Worker;

Email: faizalnajdi@gmail.com

Asad Haroon
Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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