Pakistani boxer to face opponent from Philippines in Dubai

Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem (red) fights Australia’s Andrew Moloney during the men’s fly (52kg) final boxing bout at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, on Aug. 2, 2014. (AFP/File)
Updated 13 September 2019

Pakistani boxer to face opponent from Philippines in Dubai

  • Muhammad Waseem hails from Balochistan province and aspires to win a world title for his country
  • He won a silver medal in 2014 Commonwealth Games for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s flyweight star, Muhammad Waseem, will face a Filipino boxer, Conrado Tanamor, in a sensational contest in Dubai on Friday night.
32-year-old Waseem belongs to Pakistan’s southeastern Balochistan province who lost his last fight in Kuala Lumpur against Moruti Mthalane in July and hopes to make a big comeback by winning today’s match in the United Arab Emirates.
Among other titles, the Pakistani boxing star boasts of winning a silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
In Dubai, MTK is organizing the fight.  MTK Global is a boxing management firm with more than 100 fighters under its umbrella, including Tyson Fury, Billy Joe Saunders, Michael Conlan and Carl Frampton.
According to media reports, Waseem views the fight in Dubai as an opportunity that will ultimately help him contest for a world title for Pakistan.

How Pakistani man made Sheikh Zayed’s green vision come true 

Updated 7 min 29 sec ago

How Pakistani man made Sheikh Zayed’s green vision come true 

  • Al-Yousefi joined the service of Sheikh Zayed in 1962
  • He died on Feb. 14 at the age of 83

DUBAI: A newspaper advertisement for agricultural engineers caught the eye of a young Pakistani studying in Lebanon. Little did he know that it would change his life forever.

It was 1962 and Abdul Hafeez Khan Al-Yousefi was doing his master’s studies at the American University in Beirut, when he replied to the job announcement. It turned out to be published on behalf of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates.

The 25-year-old was hired immediately and began his journey to make Sheikh Zayed’s dream come true and turn the desert city of Al Ain into a green oasis.

Abdul Hafeez Khan Al-Yousefi, center, is seen sitting with Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan upon his arrival in Al Ain in 1962. (Photo Courtesy: Abdul Hafeez Khan Al-Yousefi's family)

Al-Yousefi died on Feb. 14 at the age of 83. He was buried at an old cemetery in Al Ain, just a five-minute walk from his home where he lived for 58 years.

Born in what was then British India, he migrated with his family to Karachi after the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. He left Pakistan to study in Beirut.

Khalid Al-Yousefi, the second of his seven children, told Arab News his father knew Sheikh Zayed even before he became the UAE ruler and would share the stories of their closeness.

“To turn Al Ain green was the vision of Sheikh Zayed and it became my father’s passion,” he said. “He spent all his time with Sheikh Zayed to turn the desert green.”

Abdul Hafeez Al-Yousefi shows a tree Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan planted in his garden in 1962. Photo taken Feb. 2, 2019. (Photo Courtesy: Abdul Hafeez Khan Al-Yousefi's family)

In 2015, Al-Yousefi wrote a book titled “50 Years in Al Ain Oasis,” where he narrated the mission to transform the barren region of Al Ain into the Garden City it is now.

Before the Pakistani student joined the service of the future UAE ruler, British experts were trying to convince Sheikh Zayed the green endeavor was an exercise in futility, as nature would always reclaim what is hers. Al-Yousefi’s efforts proved them wrong.

The trees he planted along the roads of Al Ain and Abu Dhabi stand tall until today and protect the cities from wind and sandstorms. 

Even in his last days, the sheikh’s gardener would continue to do wonders and grow plants that normally do not survive in the desert.

“Until my father died, he was taking care of his own garden which has 500 trees,” Khalid said. Some of them are tropical mango trees, banana plants and evergreen Malabar plums.