It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars. A simple matriculate, belonging to a humble family of small farmers, with three brothers becoming victim to a family fued, Ghulam Shabbir found himself in a blind alley, apparently without any hope of survival. Joining Air Force, in ranks, was though a temporary relief, yet it could not offer any honorable way out from the hardships. A desperate youngster who had no one else to consult, except for his simple illiterate parents who themselves were caught in the same cobweb of miseries and poverty. His mother had developed a rigorous routine of working all day long and then spending the whole night at the prayer mat.
Finding no ray of hope around, Ghulam Shabbir, decided to try his luck and left for Saudi Arabia in late seventies. He started as a laborer (block-maker), and one day (just accidentally) he landed in Makkah Area office of a leading Saudi Company which in addition to its numerous businesses had been assigned the honor of maintenance of Harmain Shareefain at Makkah and Madina. During his earlier days at Makkah, Ghulam Shabbir would invariably spend his long days at work, but longer nights around Kābah.
For every disciplined effort there is a reward. Ghulam Shabbir worked very hard, day and night. His diligence soon paid dividends; and in the next few years, his brothers and nephews joined him one after another. Miraculous reunion of family was celebrated by initiating family's struggle which is now a history. From small scale workshops and contracts of water supply, gradually Ghulam Shabbir led his family to large scale contracts in Energy sector, Batteries, Oils & Lubricants, Travelling & Tours, Umrah & Hajj operations and Import/Export. It was a long but satisfying journey from a block-maker to a business tycoon. Now with the grace of Allah almighty he is one of the leading Pakistani businessmen in Saudi Arabia and currently over 1200 (almost 100% Pakistanis) workers/professionals are employed by his business concerns.
Throughout the aforesaid journey, Ghulam Shabbir always kept in mind the welfare of the land of his origin (Talagang, District Chakwal). He started many social projects, in his home district, in the field of education and health. Currently, he maintains a host of colleges and schools, covering almost all arenas of education i.e. basic, technical, commerce and IT. Ghulam Shabbir had ample opportunities to step into the local/area politics, to secure loans or to capitalize his prized position at Makkah, but an adamant resolve kept him away from all such distractions. He is a beacon of light and hope for our youth as he proved that by sheer hard work and diligence anyone can attain his goals. Despite all this success, he remains a humble and accessible Pakistani who loves to keep low profile and believes in the saying that “the things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but things you do for others remain as your legacy”.
By Hateem Ahmed