Misbah ul Haq Tours California to Raise Funds for Saba Homes
By Muhammad Niyaz

The most remarkable aspect about Misbah-ul-Haq is his unflappable temperament. It shows in his batting, which reached unprecedented levels of consistency in 2011, and in his captaincy, which helped lift Pakistan from the depths of the spot-fixing saga in England in 2010. Taking over as leader immediately after that episode at the age of 36, Misbah's calm approach was exactly what Pakistan cricket needed after the tumultuous period it had gone through. (Cric Info/ESPN)

Misbah is much more than an astute cricketer and a successful national captain. He is a fine human being and unflinching supporter of laudable humanitarian undertakings.

His firsthand experience with Saba Homes encouraged him to become a part of this unique initiative undertaken by well-known community activist and philanthropist, Mr Saghir Aslam. He agreed to raise awareness about the project and help the organization in mobilizing resources for this program.

To fulfill his commitment, Captain Misbah ul Haq traveled all the way from Pakistan to the United States in support of the orphan girls at Saba Homes recently. He arrived in Los Angeles on August 27 th. Without taking much rest from the long-haul tiring flight, Misbah participated in the first get-together organized by Anwar Gajiani at his factory in Los Angeles. There he met with people from different walks of life who had come to meet him and demonstrate their support for Saba Homes. Mohammed Iqbal Kolsy, who has known the founder of Saba Homes for over three decades and personally supports this undertaking, was the one who was involved in organizing the get-together in association with Anwar Gajiani.

Next, Misbah was at the Village Restaurant in Hawthorne, where a volunteer for Saba Homes, Arshad Mohsin with his family and friends, had put together a nice event attended by community members from Long Beach, Torrance, Palos Verdos and neighboring cities. Misbah was visibly impressed on seeing the community members turn up in large numbers for a noble cause. “I am humbled and honored to be among all of you and I am delighted to see this passion and love for the people of Pakistan even though you all live thousands of miles away. I have been to Saba Homes in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and I was amazed to see the project. It’s a unique program where orphan girls from different parts of Pakistan are provided with first class accommodation, education at a private school, tutors, mentors, Islamic education and much more that we can’t do for our own children because of our busy schedules.” He went on to say, “This is the best way to help your motherland and help these orphan girls to achieve their high aims and goals.”

On Saturday August 29 th, 2015 a great humanitarian Mo Ishaq, CEO & Chairman of BioCell Technology, LLC, held a well-attended reception at his Ranch in Riverside and also agreed for marketing sponsorship. This time Misbah ul Haq showed up along with his family including his wife and two children. People came from all over Riverside, Corona, LA, Long Beach and Orange County Cricket fans and were greatly excited to personally meet the national cricket team's captain and hero.

Misbah met his fans with rare humility that amazed and touched each and every person who was present on the occasion. He loved being there and enjoyed his time at the event. He said, “I never thought that people from Pakistan living in America are so close to their motherland (Pakistan) which is something to be celebrated and to be proud of. People from this area, I am told, are very generous and support each time Pakistan needs their help. I am very proud of you all.”

Everyone contributed to the cause of Saba Homes and showed great support for the orphan girls that Saba Homes is hosting in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

On Sunday August 30 th, 2015 a local cricket player Imran Ashraf, put together a "cricketers’ only" evening in Irvine with Misbah ul Haq. Misbah enjoyed this gathering the most since it consisted mainly of cricket lovers. They were very enthusiastic and curious to know of the future plans of their favorite cricketer Misbah ul Haq.

A cricket lover and philanthropist Dr Qutab Khan from Corona hosted a dinner in honor of Misbah ul Haq. Dr Khan’s family and friends were present at this event. Friends and family showed generosity towards the Saba Homes program.

For four consecutive days Misbah participated in different events and hardly had any rest. However, he appeared keen not to waste any time while in the US on the short trip aimed at helping a great cause. The Captain proved that when he does something he is fully focused on it just as he has done, and is still doing, in his cricket career. Misbah ul Haq is the most humble and down-to-earth cricketer from Pakistan according to the people who met him in California. He did not disappoint any of his fans at any point. Hundreds of fans took pictures with him at every single event on his trip but Misbah who was tired, jet-lagged and exhausted due to constant travel, did not convey the impression even once that he was exhausted and obliged all by posing for pictures and giving autographs. Which is why he is one of the most successful Captains of the Pakistani cricket team.

In the company of Saba Homes staff and a volunteer Dawar Naqvi, Misbah drove up to San Francisco to participate in different events on September 2, 2015. In order to keep the costs low on the events, he agreed to a long drive instead of traveling by air. This was another proof of his commitment, passion and support for humanity and in particular for the orphan girls.

To give the Captain a little bit of break and allow him to relax, Misbah and his family were taken on a tour of San Francisco. He had a great time with his family and the local host. The same evening he headed to a fundraising event in San Ramon.

He was warmly welcomed by the local people particularly Saeed Khan who had been a great host in the Bay Area. On Thursday September 3rd, 2015 Imran Naqvi from San Ramon along with other friends and local community members put together a gathering of Pakistani families in San Ramon. Families, youngsters and cricket fans enjoyed being in the company of Misbah ul Haq. One senior community member commented, “We have not seen any one who is this famous and so down-to- earth and humble.”

On Friday September 4 th 2015, another impressive event was held at the Chandni Restaurant with the help of Syed Riffat Mahmood and Dr Tariq Mirza from the Bay Area. Both the gentlemen put their time and efforts, and worked day and night to make the event a success. They had a very short time at their disposal for organizing an important event of this kind. Their efforts paid back. People from different areas and backgrounds participated. Misbah enjoyed the event a great deal. He was delighted to meet with the local people and some families of Indian background who showed great love for him and support for the orphan girls in Pakistan. The family that owns Chandni Restaurant went out of the way to show their support for this great cause.

People of the Bay Area enjoyed being with Misbah at the dinners put together by the volunteers of Saba Homes. They had a great time with their favorite cricketer and made the best use of the opportunity of having a great celebrity such as Misbah ul Haq in their midst.

The most interesting part of each event was the Q&A session. Participants were allowed to ask questions from Misbah ul Haq. That was something that the participants enjoyed the most. People of all ages, gender and backgrounds asked interesting questions from the skipper. In return, Misbah ul Haq responded to each and every question in a cool, calm and friendly manner.

Misbah ul Haq left for Pakistan on September 6 th, 2015.

Saba Homes would like to acknowledge the efforts and support of all those who were involved in organizing these events with Misbah ul Haq, beneficial and successful. We would like to specially thank Mohammed Iqbal Kolsy, Dawar Naqvi, Syed Riffat Mahmood, Dr Tariq Mirza, Chandni Restaurant, Imran Ashraf, Imran Naqvi, Saeed Khan, Mo Ishaq, Anwar Gajiani, Arshad Mohsin, Abid Farooq (San Ramon) and Dr Qutab Khan.

The orphan girls at Saba Homes, the management, staff, board members and volunteers congratulate Misbah ul Haq on his successful humanitarian tour which was a great achievement for him and for the orphan girls. We wish him success and happiness, and hope to work with him again in the future.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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