DUBAI // Two Pakistani writers are asking compatriots to nominate success stories for a book that will chronicle the lives of 100 Pakistanis in the UAE. Tahir Muneer Tahir, a journalist who has lived in Dubai for eight years, and Shaikh Pervez are interviewing some people who already have made it on to their list, and are still accepting nominations. "We are choosing those people who made themselves from zero to hero," Mr Tahir said. "The aim is to show people that there are Pakistanis who work hard. It will be good, positive and we aim to spread inspiration."
Abdul Sattar, a writer in his 70s, is at the top of the list. The table is not confined to professionals, however. Elsewhere is Amin Khan, a Dubai taxi driver. He returned Dh40,000 (US$10,900) left in his car by Chinese tourists and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, awarded him Dh100,000 for his honesty. Another entry is an uneducated man who came from Pakistan with nothing. "But by his hard work he now owns 100 trailers and has his own organisation in Pakistan," Mr Tahir said.
"We're about 30 per cent completed but because of Ramadan things are slower," he said. "We have every type of person? There are businessman, writers, students, politicians." Four judges - the two authors, journalist Mohammed Abdul Qudoos and a politician - are examining more than 150 nominations. Haji Abdul Razzaq Yaqoob, head of the ARY Television Network, inspired the project. "When he came from Pakistan he was a labourer, he was carrying big buckets on his back. Now he has his very own gold business and owns 10 TV channels," Mr Tahir said.
"I got inspiration from that man. He is a hero. With that example, we went to other people and found out there are many people like that man." Mr Tahir writes regularly for the Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, a newspaper in Lahore, Pakistan. He and Mr Pervez have spent the past two months on the book. It will be written in Urdu. "The book should be finished by the end of this year," Mr Tahir said. "It will cost about Dh30."