Prominent South Asians in the UAE Get Patriotic
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Prominent South Asians in the UAE Get Patriotic

Well-known Indians & Pakistanis tell us what Independence Day & Pakistan Day means to them

FALGUNI MEHTA
JEWELLERY DESIGNER
On what the essence of patriotism is:

Patriotism is natural loyalty to one's land and not forgetting your roots and where you come from.
On finding success as an Indian in the UAE:
Indians are very motivated and driven and work very hard to achieve their goals. And the UAE has given us a lot of opportunities to achieve and realise these dreams.
On giving back to India as an NRI:
By promoting Indian culture and bringing music, theatre and other intrinsic Indian cultural traditions to the UAE, we have kept the Indian culture alive. Keeping in touch with our roots is essential and we have tried to do that to the best of our ability.

DR ZULEKHA DAUD
FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR OF ZULEKHA HEALTHCARE GROUP

On what the essence of patriotism is:
Patriotism is an intrinsic feeling. It is a desire to stand against the wrong and support what is appropriate. Being an Indian, I look up to everything about this nation. Patriotism is not to show off; it should be inculcated from within and should be part of our habit and culture.
On finding success as an Indian in the UAE:
I drew strength from the overwhelming need of medical care in the UAE to be able to give back to the country.
On giving back to India as an NRI:
One of the most important things in the world is providing a child with good education. The Zulekha Group established a charitable trust under the name of Zed Vocational Training Centre in 2004 to provide to the needy in Nagpur. The group also provides scholarships and books for children, along with conducting cleanliness drives in slums and providing for medicinal and surgical supplies to the poor.

SANJIV MEHTA
CHAIRMAN, UNILEVER NORTH AFRICA & MIDDLE EAST

On what the essence of patriotism is:
Patriotism is, despite all the odds and the challenges, the desire, belief and actions to bring forth positive changes in our motherland.
On finding success as an Indian in the UAE:
The UAE provides an enabling environment to succeed as a professional. This, coupled with our values of sincere hard work, our respect for different cultures and religions and an ability to work with people of diverse background creates a potent recipe to be successful.
On giving back to India as an NRI:
Giving back to India first and foremost entails being a good citizen in the host country and being successful in whatever profession we are engaged in. This strengthens the image of our own country and provides opportunities to our countrymen. Secondly, as Mark Twain said: "Support your country all the time and your government when it deserves it."

RAZA BEIG
CEO, SPLASH AND ICONIC, LANDMARK GROUP

On what the essence of patriotism is:
Patriotism is having strong values and ideals that help us overcome any challenge and stand out in the clutter.
On finding success as an Indian in the UAE:
Our undying spirit and the umpteen opportunities that the UAE has provided us with have successfully helped us to be able to contribute to the growth of this nation.
On giving back to India as an NRI:
The best way to honour our motherland is by respecting and learning from the culture and tradition of the country we live in so that we are remembered with love & pride.

MARIYA KASSAM
OWNER OF SOIRE BOUTIQUE
On what the essence of patriotism is:
Patriotism is love for your country and contributing to helping your homeland grow socially and economically.
On finding success as a Pakistani in the UAE:
My family moved to the UAE from Pakistan in 1994. The thing I have always loved about the UAE is the appreciation people have for Pakistani culture. Personally, the UAE has helped me create opportunities for creative Pakistanis in the form of my fashion shop Soire Boutique.
On giving back to Pakistan as an NRP:
In my opinion, the best way is to contribute is to get involved in initiatives that promote education in Pakistan. I believe that education is the singular most important factor that will create progress in Pakistan and that will help future generations have a better life.

MURTAZA HASHWANI
DIRECTOR AND MEMBER OF BOARD, HASHOO GROUP
On what the essence of patriotism is:
Patriotism, to me, means devotion to and belief in, my country and upholding my country's honour through my actions to make it a place that any Pakistani can be proud of.
On finding success as a Pakistani in the UAE:
The UAE has emerged as one of Pakistan's major economic and trading partners giving rise to tremendous business opportunities. I believe that ambition can help you grow professionally in any part of the world.
On giving back to Pakistan as an NRP:
I believe one can give back by bettering the conditions at home by taking back and implementing best practices in the fields of education and health or any industry that will help in the growth of the civil society.

FAIZA RANGOONWALA
FURNITURE DESIGNER AND FASHION ENTHUSIAST
On what the essence of patriotism is:
Being a patriotic Pakistani comes naturally to me as I have spent the majority of my life in my homeland. I also think being patriotic means keeping a strong association with Pakistan and being proud of my origin.
On finding success as a Pakistani in the UAE:
The UAE has had a very strong Pakistani association right from the beginning. Being from a country that is so rich in its heritage has helped me with my business tremendously as there is a huge demand for Pakistani furniture and fashion in the UAE.
On giving back to Pakistan as an NRP:
NRPs can help reshape Pakistanis' image abroad by keeping in touch with our values and making our children aware of our roots. Educating our youth is key to Pakistan's future development and betterment.

IMRAN CHAUDHRY
MANAGING DIRECTOR, STAR CONNECTIONS LLC DUBAI
On what the essence of patriotism is:
Born and raised in Pakistan but having spent more than half my life in the UAE, patriotism to me is the blend of staying connected to and supportive of my native land while also appreciating the blessings of my host country.
On finding success as a Pakistani in the UAE:
The UAE has offered expats great opportunities and many Pakistanis came here seeking a better life. Those who left their families and ventured to pursue a life in a foreign land, must have been strongly driven from the start to succeed and make the most of their opportunities.
On giving back to Pakistan as an NRP:
Those with financial means could invest in businesses, contribute to charities in Pakistan and positively represent our country on the world stage. Building a better image of Pakistan by being honourable ambassadors is something anyone could accomplish even without inancial means.

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