Raphael Khalid: (clears throat) Greetings, everyone! And, welcome, to the Raphael Khlaid – I mean, Khalid – show! I remember it, so you don’t have to. We are all gathered here today to hear the words of a man, who, against all adversity and difficulties, has established one of the biggest foundations in all of Asia, one of healthcare and first-aid. He is one who, without, Pakistan could never have reached the position that it is currently in. He is our friend, our benefactor, and a global icon: Abdul Sattar Edhi.
Audience: (claps loudly)
Raphael: First of all, congratulations, for all you have done for our country.
Abdul Sattar Edhi: It has been my pleasure.
Raphael: Now, first of all, every single one of us would like to know about your personal life. And, I surely do not mean THAT personal life, but what you do during your spare time, and what your life was like when you were just a young boy.
Edhi: Well, I was born back in 1928. Now, everyone knows that Pakistan was not yet established, until 1947. So, I was born in Gujarat, India, into its very own Memon community. My mother taught be to have courage, and be kind, to help the poor and needy, and to strive for the welfare of others.
Raphael: Do you feel that what she taught you means a lot to your current life? Where would you be, had she not taught you these things? Would you still have picked up on these lessons of life via your own personal observations?
Edhi: It is safe to say that my mother’s lessons have been the backbone of my life, both in terms of philosophy, and in terms of practicality. Without them, the world would not have gotten Abdul Sattar Edhi, the icon. I am not sure that I would have observed all of this on my own; and, even if I did, I would not be able to find the will to put these into reality.
Raphael: Well, I definitely need to applaud that fact; I’m sure that everyone in the world would appreciate this.
Edhi: Thank you. I appreciate your appreciation.
Raphael: Tell us more.
Edhi: In 1947, as soon as Pakistan gained independence, we migrated to Karachi, Pakistan. And, anyone who knows me well enough would know that that is where I started developing my welfare center, my most well-known contribution to the people of this country.
Raphael: How was it like, being so determined to bring your ambition to reality? It must have been fun, right? What innovations did you make?
Edhi: To say that it was ‘fun’ would be an understatement. I had the time of my life doing everything to help me towards achieving my ambition. I started my own dispensary, provide medical care to the poor, and even drove a, as I call it, ‘poor man’s van’, to help the needy and dispense of any dead, unclean bodies. During all this, I met Bilquis, who is my wife and my partner, without whom the Edhi foundation would not be what it is today.
Raphael: I see. I am heavily interested in where your story is going from here. To add onto that, I have a wife as well; but, well, so does everyone else. She, like your wife, is my partner, my helper and my benefactor, without whom I would be nothing. In my case, she helped me in undergoing my side-career in space-science; in other words, NASA. Was your wife like my wife?
Edhi: She was humble, no doubt. She was a trainee at my first dispensary, when I first met her. I believe that the greatest strength we shared was our passion in doing what we believed in, and our shared want to help the poor, needy, old and sick. She was kind and generous, just like me. She was interested in the same things as me. She even contributed to the Edhi foundation as much as I did! So, there is indeed no doubt that she is my partner, without whom I would be nothing.
Raphael: I see.
Edhi: Thanks to her, the Edhi foundation reached a collapsed building in 1973, to help those who were injured in the process. It has also ventured into dangerous places that even government agencies are afraid to go into! And, most of all, we established the first air ambulances in South Asia, all these achievements being thanks to her, as well as the several thousand workers and volunteers, who form the meat and backbone of my foundation.
Raphael: I know. All that you have accomplished, with the help of only a few select people, surprises me.
Edhi: Thank you.
Raphael: So, for we now all know about all that you have accomplished, what do you do in your spare time, when you are not busy doing your services for this country.
Edhi: I am a humble man. Simple, elegant and clean. I spend my free time doing my services, for I really am that selfless. In addition, I begin each day with Fajr prayers, and my house IS, in fact, my apartment, in which only one room is my bedroom. The rest of it is used for the Foundation itself, of course. After Fajr, I work for the Foundation, and then, at the end of it all, I eat with the poor and needy at the free community meals’ center in Karachi. On my Fridays, I help the physically handicapped children, as well as the poor children. Because of this, one would probably say that I do not have free time. But, if the children are as happy as a dog, with big smiles on their faces, then it is free time, at least to me, and time well-spent.
Raphael: Really? That… I did not know about. Wow! (turns to audience, starts speaking in a comically surprised tone) Folks, this is why you should never assume things about people. Ever. In your entire life. (audience starts laughing)
Edhi: (starts laughing as well)
Raphael: Anyways… back to the main discussion. So, Edhi, last of all, what has been your primary vision for this country, and for life?
Edhi: It has been nothing more than giving all people in the world their rights. To work for the welfare of the poor and needy. I have, for all my life, supported none other than Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision for this country, to gain equality for all kinds of people, based on either their faith or their sect. I advocate for basic educational skills to be granted to the children. And, once it has been established as a modern welfare state, I can set a great example for other developing countries, to give them the hope that, one day, they may also do great things for their countries, like I did for mine. Given that I have gained international acclaim, attention and awards for my services, that may very well be possible.
Raphael: And that is exactly what I wanted to hear. Thank you, Edhi. And I would like you to know that everyone, not just the people sitting here, appreciate this noble speech of yours.
Edhi: I was giving a reply, not a speech.
Raphael: Sorry, sorry! (audience starts laughing again)
Edhi: (remaining serene) Well, it has been a pleasure to be on your show, and share my life-story with all these people sitting here in front of me, Mr. Khalid.
Raphael: It has been my pleasure, too. (Edhi leaves) (Raphael turns to audience) Well, goodbye, folks! Hope to see you on the next show’s episode. Once again, this is the Raphael Khalid show! I remember it so you don’t have to. This is me, signing out. (audience starts clapping) (lights go out)