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Mr. Ali Raza Alvie passed away on 27 January 2023 after a brief illness. He had turned 51 in January 2023.
Ali Raza was an extraordinary person, and worth knowing. He must be seen as a professional and as a person to get to know him.
Ali Raza earned a degree in civil engineering from Arizona State University, and came back to join his father’s construction company, HAKAS Private Limited. After a short stint, he was assigned to Ali Medical Center business which he took over fully. Ali Medical is presently a highly regarded medical facility in Islamabad for the quality of care and courtesy it delivers.
Ali Raza was Chairman of Ali Medical Center Islamabad, President of Ali Trust Pakistan Islamabad, and Director at HAKAS Private Limited. These are the official titles and responsibilities he was carrying, but his spirit was much bigger, and his presence enriched everyone’s life.
Their father, Mr. Mahmood ul Haq Alvie, who founded HAKAS, had been doing many philanthropic activities since many years. In 1984, he got Ali Trust formally registered and remained its President till his passing away in 2014. Ali Raza took over as the President after the departure of his father.
Two important facts distinguish Ali Trust Pakistan from other philanthropic organizations: one, Ali Trust does not seek or accept any donation from anyone, cash, or kind; two, Ali Trust does not charge for any service it offers. It is a unique offering which no other philanthropic organization is doing, as far as I know.
Ali Trust Pakistan focuses primarily on education; one residential college and seven schools are run under the Trust, in which about 4,500 children get education from primary to secondary/higher secondary level.
Ali Trust College is a flagship, visionary project. Every year, talented, deserving students compete for Mahmood ul Haq Alvi Talent Hunt Scholarship. On the basis of written tests, interview, and background check, 80 students – 15 each from Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, KPK; 10 each from GB and AJK – are enrolled in class 6 and go on to do FSc. All students are chosen from suburban, underprivileged areas. During their seven-years stay, all expenses of education, boarding, lodging, uniforms, clothing etc. are born by Ali Trust. The college is run like a cadet college and consistently produces outstanding results.
Second focus is eye health. An eye hospital caters to people with eye problems, the treatment includes surgery. Thousands of patients attend outdoor every year and hundreds get surgical treatment as needed.
In addition, there are several other smaller projects which are running under Ali Trust Pakistan.
While writing this obituary, I am overwhelmed with memories and observations. Though I knew him for a few years only, but the more I recall, the more I understand that I had developed deep affection for him. I want to show you what kind of an extraordinary person he was. I shall focus on three traits out of the many he had as I understand these underscored many of the other things he did.
Humility defined his persona. He met everyone with respect and deference without regard to their status. He talked softly and never imposed himself. When he wanted to get something done, he would not command, but he would suggest and give reasons in support. He never had to raise his voice and he never did. Even in the most trying situations, he kept calm; his firmness made the point, not the pitch of the voice.
Compassion ran in his blood. He would go to great length to give comfort to others. For needy, distressed, deserving people, he would do all and still feel there should have been more. I would not quote acts because he would not approve it. I am sure no one knows exactly what and how much he did; no one needs to know either. I am also sure that several cases shall surface now telling us what he was doing for them. As his legacy, we shall follow through. His compassion was completely non-judgmental. He never questioned the authenticity or validity of claims from the person. He understood himself and supported everyone to the extent of their need.
Religion overarched his whole life. He had no ifs about it and designed his work schedule to be able to follow ‘ibadaat’; prayers, recitation of Qura’an, and whatever else he did to connect and please with his Creator. He did not show it off and did not make fuss about it. It was integral part of his life, and he kept it as private as possible. He practiced Islam in its true spirit, without frills, and without fanfare. He did not take up the classical appearance associated with religious people. Instead, he maintained low profile in sight and high profile in heart.
Ali Raza Alvie was this and much more. As I said earlier, many of his other traits emanated from these three basic attributes of character.
Ali Raza shall be missed greatly by many, and shall remain in our prayers, as long as we are.