Open Forum 2018: Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs Summit in Silicon Valley

Hundreds of Pakistanis and Pakistani-Americans converged on Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley on Saturday May 12, 2018 for Open Forum 2018.  The attendees included entrepreneurs, technologists, business executives, investors, lawyers, accountants and others.What was different this year was the presence of an unusually large number of attendees from Pakistan, including dozens of Fulbright scholars studying in the United States,  entrepreneurs from Pakistan, and Husain Dawood of Dawood Group of Companies, the second largest business group in terms of market cap of the companies listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange. Driverless vehicle tech and leading-edge brain research were among the new research and technology topics discussed at the Forum.

L to R: Imran Qureshi, Nazim Kareemi, Husain Dawood, Riaz Haq, Faruk Ahmad at Open Forum 2018

Husain Dawood Keynote:

The morning keynote by Husain Dawood of Dawood Group was in the form of an on-stage interview of the visitor by Imran Sayeed. Sayeed is part of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

L to R: OPEN President Mobashar Yazdani, Imran Sayeed, Husain Dawood. Photo: Zain Jeewanji

Talking about ups and down of his business that reflect Pakistan's history, Husain Dawood said his father Seth Ahmad Dawood started in the textile business in undivided India and lost everything when he moved to Pakistan in 1947. He rebuilt the business from the scratch starting in 1947 but then suffered a major setback again in 1971 when the eastern wing of the county broke away. The family lost half its business in what became Bangladesh and the other half of its business was nationalized in what was left of Pakistan led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. They were forced to start all over again.

Husain Dawood took over the leadership of the group in 2002 when Ahmad Dawood passed away. Helped by President Musharraf's pro-business policies, Dawood diversified from textile into other businesses such as fertilizer, food, energy and communications.  The group took on a lot of debt to expand. Dawood invested nearly a billion dollars and built one of the world's largest fertilizer plants on government's commitment to supply gas to the plant. Then came the PPP government that went back on the commitment and plant ground to halt. The group was able to get it working again when Nawaz Sharif government took power in 2013 and restored gas supply to the plant. Dawood group also invested in the power sector upon Nawaz Sharif's urging to help deal with the energy crisis.

Karachi School of Business Leadership (KSBL):

After the keynote, I asked Husain Dawood why do the family owned business conglomerates and seth culture have such a strangle-hold in Pakistan. He said he's been working to change it to put professional managers in charge of the companies owned by his group. He cited his support for the setting up of Karachi School of Business Leadership (KSBL) a top private business school in Karachi.  KSBL was launched in collaboration with the UK's Cambridge University's Judge School of Business. KSBL faculty includes former professors at top US business schools like Wharton and Sloane.  Dawood said he is now working on creating a Business Leadership Institute at KSBL in collaboration with leading business schools and management consultancies.  McKinsey and Company is among the consultancies he's working with.

Dr. Maheen Adamson's Keynote. Photo Courtesy Ali Hasan Cemendtaur

Dr. Maheen Adamson Keynote:

The afternoon keynote speakers was Dr. Maheen Mausoof Adamson, a Pakistani-American professor at Stanford School of Medicine. She is engaged in leading-edge research and development for treating a variety of brain impairments such as Alzheimer's and brain injuries in sports and on the battlefields.

She spoke directly to the young women in the audience to inspire them to set and achieve ambitious goals as women, particular Muslim women of color with immigrant parents.

Dr. Adamson is working on translational neuroscience methodologies for diagnostic and therapeutic treatments (mainly repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) in mild and moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), including structural and functional changes in the brain in both Veteran, active military and civilian population.

One particular kind of brain injury she described is "blast wave injury" that results from just being near a blast that generates fast moving high energy waves. These waves cause serious physical and structural damage to the brain.

She said her research is in early stages and a lot more work is required to fully understand and treat brain impairments and injuries.

Self-Driving Cars:

I was not able to attend the driverless car panel discussion at Open Forum but I spoke with its moderator Shoeib Yunus. Shoeib said there are many Pakistanis working on driverless car technology in the global auto industry.

In particular, Shoeib mentioned two names: Sajjad Khan and Zaki Fasihuddin.

Sajjad Khan is the head of Mercedes Digital Car Division.  As Vice President - Digital Vehicle and Mobility at Mercedes Benz Cars, he is based in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. Sajjad has about 300 engineers working for him at Mercedes Research and Development Center in Silicon Valley, CA.  Prior to coming to Mercedes, Sajjad worked for BMW in Munich, Germany.

Zaki Fasihuddin is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships in the Volvo Cars Silicon Valley Technology Center, and CEO of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund focused on funding research in driverless cars.

Social Entrepreneurship Panel: 

It was an all-women panel with two of the three panelists coming from Pakistan to participate in the conference. It was moderated by Shahab Riazi. The companies represented at this company were: Komal Ahmad of Copia, Shameela Ismael of Ghar Par and Maryam Arshad of Impact. They head for-profit startups with the motto: Do good and do well.

Komal Ahmad of Copia described how her company is helping solve hunger by reducing waste of millions of tons of perfectly good, healthy and edible surplus food. Her company's smartphone app matches those with excess food with those in need of food. The idea was born when  Komal saw University of California at Berkeley's cafeteria regularly throwing away un-eaten food. It took her a couple of hours to persuade the cafeteria director to donate the food instead of throwing it away. His main concern was liability if someone ate the food and got sick and sued the university. Komal explained to him that a good samaritan law protects donors from liability in such cases. That was the key to getting him to agree to begin donating surplus food to charity.

Komal's business helps donors, recipients and Copia as the match-maker. Donors get tax deduction for the in-kind donation, the hungry get fed and Copia receives a commission for their work.  Cpoia is a Y Combinator company. It received its seed funding from Pakistani-American Amar Hanafi, a charter member of OPEN, Organization of Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs.

Lahore-based Ghar Par has a similar business model for matching beauticians with customers. It provides employment for women looking for work and generates fees for Ghar Par as a match-maker.


Organization of Pakistani-American Entrepreneurs (OPEN) held its annual forum in Silicon Valley on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Santa Clara Convention Center. It drew hundreds of attendees including entrepreneurs, technologists, business executives, investors, lawyers, accountants and others. There were a large number of attendees from Pakistan, including dozens of Fulbright scholars studying in the United States, entrepreneurs from Pakistan and Husain Dawood of Dawood Group of Companies, the second largest business group in terms of market cap of the companies listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange. Driverless vehicle tech and leading-edge brain research were among the new research and technologies discussed at the Forum.

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Riaz Haq said…
Textile industry in Pakistan an open example of resistance economy

The textile industry in Pakistan is the largest manufacturing industry in the country and no doubt it is an explicit example of resistance economy.

For years, the textile sector has been the country’s backbone as it provides employment and export revenues.

The textile sector in Pakistan contributes 57% to the country’s exports. The textile industry is the second largest employment sector in Pakistan.

Pakistan is the 8th largest exporter of textile commodities in Asia and textile sector contributes 8.5% to the GDP of Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention that the exports of textile products posted a growth of 12.8 per cent year-on-year to $4.4 billion in 2017-18.

The total textile sector exports reached $7.72bn value-wise in July-January 2018 versus $7.2bn in the corresponding period of last year, reflecting an increase of 7.18 pc

In the 1950s, textile manufacturing emerged as a central part of Pakistan's industrialization, shortly following independence from the British rule in South Asia. In 1974, the Pakistan government established the Cotton Export Corporation of Pakistan (CEC).

Between 1947 and 2000, the number of textile mills in Pakistan increased from 3 to 600. In the same time spindles increased from 177,000 to 805 million.

Cotton spinning is perhaps the most important segment in the Pakistan textile industry with 521 units installed and operational, says a report by IRNA news agency.

Synthetic fibers prepared with nylon, polyester, acrylic, and polyolefin dominate the market.

Three types of filament yarn are also produced in Pakistan. These are acetate rayon yarn, polyester filament yarn, and nylon filament yarn.

Textile products manufactured from wool are also famous across the country and they include woolen yarn, acrylic yarn, fabrics, shawls, blankets, and carpets.

Artificial silk is also produced in Pakistan. This fiber resembles silk but costs less to produce. There are about 90,000 looms in the country.

There are many famous clothing brands in Pakistan who use locally produced fabrics due to its high quality.

According to consumers the fabric produced in Pakistan is high in quality as compared to fabric produced in other countries.

In recent years, Pakistan has faced competition from regional players including Bangladesh, India and Vietnam.

Pakistan is currently facing a large-scale energy crisis. The government manages the deficit through daily power cuts (or blackouts). These power cuts have significantly impacted manufacturing industries in Pakistan.
Riaz Haq said…
156 #Pakistani #Fulbright scholars heading to #America. #Pakistan’s Fulbright program is one of the largest in the world. #Pakistani participants will attend 70 U.S. universities to study & conduct research in engineering, social sciences, energy, etc.

Islamabad, July 12, 2018 –American Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Hoover and Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce spoke to 156 Pakistani Fulbright Scholarship recipients preparing to leave for the U.S., where they will pursue advanced studies and research.

The Fulbright Program is the American government’s flagship academic exchange program, and, thanks to contributions by both the American and Pakistani governments, Pakistan’s program is one of the largest in the world. The Pakistani participants will attend 70 U.S. universities to study and conduct research in a wide variety of academic disciplines, including engineering, social sciences and energy management.

The Chargé d’Affaires congratulated the students on being selected for the prestigious program but told them to begin thinking about how they can help Pakistan when they return.

“What you do next is what truly matters,” he said. “How you take the knowledge you’ll gain in America—whether from textbook, your professors or the everyday challenges of life—and use it to benefit all of society will determine where life takes you.”

Noting that “the President has said that we must empower women as pillars of our society and of our success,” Royce emphasized that 46 percent of this year’s students are women. She also singled out the work of Fulbright alumna Dr. Najma Najam, who founded Fatima Jinnah Women’s University and helped create “the next generation of the country’s women leaders.”

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program—which is administered by the U.S. Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP)—has provided more than 370,000 participants from around the world the opportunity to conduct research, implement skills and ideas, teach, and contribute to society. To learn more about the Fulbright Program and about U.S. education initiatives in Pakistan, visit and

Riaz Haq said…
Karachi-born Sajjad Khan leads Mercedes-Benz's entry into electric vehicle.

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a key interior component of its upcoming electric luxury sedan: a large, curved screen that sweeps across almost the entire width of the car instead of a conventional dashboard.

The MBUX Hyperscreen option available on the EQS sedan uses artificial intelligence to learn what functions the driver uses most, such as navigation and hands-free phone calls. Ola Kallenius, CEO of parent company Daimler AG, said Thursday in a recorded video presented online that the screen “only shows what is needed: no scrolling, no browsing.”

For instance, if the driver often uses the hot-stone massage function during the winter, the user experience system will suggest the comfort function during cold weather. Or, if the driver calls someone regularly on the way home, the system will suggest a call at the usual time.

“With the 3D driver display with real depth effect, the large head-up display with augmented reality content such as animated turn arrows and biometric authentication, MBUX has now taken another big step towards digitization and artificial intelligence. And, if you will, you could say that with the MBUX hyperscreen even the giant TV has now found its way into the car.,” mercedes said in a blog post.

Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler Group, and Sajjad Khan, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz AG and CTO, on the new MBUX generation, were asked what they saw as the highlights.


Vice President - Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Daimler AG (Mercedes Benz Cars)

Sajjad is VP Digital Vehicle & Mobility at Daimler AG. He was pulled in by Mercedes from BMW and is generating end to end user experience as MDUX system. He is partnering with entrepreneurs around the world including in Silicon Valley where Mercedes has over 300 people in Sunnyvale. Come and learn on the details of what is needed in the auto eco system and where the opportunities are in this area.

Khan, Sajjad
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Khan, has a premium accountClick to upgrade to Premium
Executive Vice President - Member of the Board Mercedes Benz Cars
Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany 500+ connections Contact info

Degree NameMSc.Field Of StudyElectronics and Information Tech


However, Khan is keen to point out that much of the technology produced for MBUX was sourced and produced from within the company. “Not only from the concept perspective, even from the software-programming perspective and the framework perspective, we did in-house,” he says.

“Cloud intelligence, speech… we use the base systems from key partners, but the majority of the work is done in-house.”

Think of MBUX as a powerful computer sitting behind your dashboard, and you’re on the right track. Its ability to learn and adapt to its new owner is already well known, but Khan says there’s a lot more potential already built into the system, and it won’t be limited by chipsets and screens.

“The game-changing thing is how you connect everything together, so that from the customer perspective, it’s seamless; they don’t have a feeling of ‘am I autonomous or am I in the connectivity domain at the moment, or am I driving electric?’” he says, leaning forward.
Riaz Haq said…
Engro to establish petrochemical plant
Unit will help slash country’s chemical imports, boost exports

Engro Corporation, a diversified group of companies, has announced that it will undertake advance studies for setting up a manufacturing plant in the petrochemical sector at an estimated cost of over $1 billion, which will slash Pakistan’s chemical imports and give a push to exports.

The conglomerate intends to establish a plant for the manufacturing of polypropylene resin, which is used in making plastic bags for carrying and supplying fertiliser and sugar to the market, confectionery wrappers, plastic pipes and other construction fitting material, film and sheet.

“We are pleased to announce that the board, in its meeting held on April 8, 2021, has approved an amount of up to $31.4 million (approximately Rs4.8 billion) towards conducting engineering, design and technical studies including a front-end engineering design (FEED) study in relation to the PDH-PP (propane dehydrogenation-based polypropylene) project,” Company Secretary Shomaila Loan said in a notification to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Friday.

“At present, Pakistan meets local requirement for the chemical by importing approximately 500,000 tons a year,” Engro Corporation President and CEO Ghias Khan told The Express Tribune in an interview in December 2020.

The company was considering setting up a global-scale plant with installed capacity of 550,000-750,000 tons a year, he said and added that the estimated cost of the project could be around $1-1.2 billion.

The demand for the chemical is growing at 7.5% per annum. Keeping in view the project studies, arrangement of financing, potential investment partners (if considered) and construction, the plant would consume six to seven years for development and start of commercial production, he said.

“We may arrange financing for the project in two years from the time the board gives its go-ahead for the plant,” he said.

“The company will seek investment opportunities in this area, which creates avenues for both substituting imports and enhancing the export potential, which will help in building foreign currency reserves of the country,” said a company notification issued in April 2019. Khan said that the company would import raw material (propane gas) to produce polypropylene resin locally.

“The project will save Pakistan a net $250-300 million annually,” he said. Besides, the company might consider exporting the surplus production. Neighbouring country China was a big importer of resin globally, he added.

“Results of these studies, when completed, are expected to lead towards the final investment decision in relation to this project,” Loan said in the notification.

“The decision will also be based on a conducive policy environment and arranging the right mix of debt and equity partners at such time.”

The corporation’s share price dropped 3.08%, or Rs9.44, to close at Rs297.49 with trading in 1.3 million shares at the PSX.


KBR, Inc. KBR announced that it has entered into an agreement with JS Energy Limited. Per the agreement, KBR’s K-PRO™ Propane Dehydrogenation (“PDH”) technology will help JS Energy to convert propane into propylene for a PDH project in Pakistan, which is anticipated to be commissioned in 2024. However, financial terms of the agreement have been kept under wraps.

In 2019, KBR introduced K-PRO that offers propylene selectivity and conversion. K-PRO is a revolutionary step for the PDH industry that furnishes innovative designs at a very low cost of capital. Also, K-PRO's proprietary catalyst doesn’t require high-cost metals and pollutants, consequently resulting in an ideal environment and lower business overhead.
Riaz Haq said…
Riaz Haq has left a new comment on your post "History of Pakistan's Business and Industry":

Engro Polymer & Chemicals Limited (EPCL) is the sole manufacturer of PVC resin in Pakistan. Besides this, the company also produces Chlor Alkali products like Caustic Soda, Sodium Hypochlorite and Hydrochloric Acid.

It is a subsidiary of Engro Corporation, involved in the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of PVC under the brand name ‘SABZ’ and other quality Chlor-Vinyl allied products.

Engro Polymer and Chemicals is Pakistan’s multi-billion-dollar company, which saw the highest every profitability since its establishment in 1997. In its IPO, Rs. 3 billion shares were issued, and the company’s IPO was oversubscribed by 5.4 times.

Its PVC plant has a capacity of 295 Kilo Tons per Annum (KTA) (after expansion) while EDC and VCM have the respective capacities of 127 and 204 KTA.

South Asia has been one of the crucial markets in the vinyl world due to its supply deficits both for PVC and feedstocks. With the high population growth, the market of PVC is expected to grow, especially in the construction sector.

Especially, keeping in mind the government’s focus on affordable housing, expected improvement in economic growth the country’s per capita PVC consumption is expected to increase in the years to come and converge towards international levels.

Keeping the same view in mind, AKD Securities has also predicted an upward trend in the price of EPCL, due to increased PVC Ethylene margins and EPCL’s new expansion of 50 percent of the existing plant’s capacity.

According to the AKD analysis, “the PVC ethylene margins have recently surpassed ~US$1,000/MT in Mar’21 on the back of force majeure declared by PVC capacities in the US and, soft ethylene prices amid a recent wave of global capacity expansion resulting in excess ethylene supply.”

All of this is coming at an optimum time for EPCL as its new expansion of PVC capacity by 100K tons that went online on 1st Match and debottlenecking exercise for VCM (Vinyl Chloride Monomer), a gas used in the production of PVC will enable the company to meet the demand in the market.

EPCL being the sole supplier in Pakistan caters to 70 percent of local PVC demand. The supply sector has been hugely hurt due to lockdown around the world driving the prices of PVC up. This has thus led to a bull cycle in PVC prices which are up 100/30% FYTD/CYTD.
Riaz Haq said…
Product made from polymers are all around us: clothing made from synthetic fibers, polyethylene cups, fiberglass, nylon bearings, plastic bags, polymer-based paints, epoxy glue, polyurethane foam cushion, silicone heart valves, and Teflon-coated cookware. The list is almost endless.,The%20list%20is%20almost%20endless.

Polymers are widely used advanced materials, which are found almost in every material used in our daily life. To date, the importance of polymers has been much more highlighted because of their applications in different dominions of sciences, technologies and industry – from basic uses to biopolymers and therapeutic polymers. The main aim of this editorial is to accentuate the pragmatic impacts of polymers in human daily life.

Keywords: Macromolecule, Monomer, Natural polymer, Polymer, Synthetic polymer
The polymers, a word that we hear about it a lot, is very vital and one cannot imagine the life without it. Polymers, a large class of materials, consist of many small molecules named monomers that are linked together to form long chains and are used in a lot of products and goods that we use in daily life.1

Since many years, people used polymers in their life but they did not know it well almost until World War II. There were relatively few materials available for the manufacture of the article needed for a civilized life. Steel, glass, wood, stone, brick, and concrete for most of the construction and cotton, wood, jute, and a few other agricultural products for clothing or fabric manufacture were used.

The rapid increase in demand for the manufactured products introduce the new materials. These new materials are polymers, and their impact on the present way of life is almost incalculable. Product made from polymers are all around us: clothing made from synthetic fibers, polyethylene cups, fiberglass, nylon bearings, plastic bags, polymer-based paints, epoxy glue, polyurethane foam cushion, silicone heart valves, and Teflon-coated cookware. The list is almost endless.2

The word “polymer”, or sometimes "macromolecule", is derived from classical Greek poly meaning "many" and meres meaning "parts". The polymer molecule has very high molecular weight (between 10 000-1000 000 g/mol) and consists of several structural units usually bound together by covalent bonds.1,3

Polymers are obtained through chemical reaction of monomers. Monomers have the ability to react with another molecule from the same type or another type in the suitable condition to form the polymer chain. This process in nature has resulted to the formation of natural polymers, while the synthetic polymers are man-made.

Polymers have been around us in the natural world since the very beginning (e.g., cellulose, starch, and natural rubber). Man-made polymeric materials have been studied since the middle of the nineteenth century. Today, the polymer industry has rapidly developed and is larger than the copper, steel, aluminum and some other industries combined.4

Both natural and synthetic polymers are remarkably involved in comfort and facilitation of human life and are responsible for life itself, for medication, nutrition, communication, transportation, irrigation, container, clothing, recording history, buildings, highways, etc. In fact, it is difficult to imagine human society without synthetic and natural polymers. In our ever-increasing technological world, science plays a crucial role in providing solutions to critical problems of food, clean and abundant water, air, energy, and health. The knowledge of polymers and related texts provide both the information and insights of their better understanding in our life. The information collected from the basic science courses lead to understanding the polymers.
Riaz Haq said…
US-Pakistan Agreement to Support 125 Pakistani PhD students | The Academia

In a step toward expanding U.S.-Pakistan educational cooperation, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support 125 Pakistanis to pursue PhD studies in the United States, 25 per year for five years. The MoU extends an agreement that funded 125 Fulbright-HEC PhD scholarships between 2016 and 2020. Acting HEC Chairman Dr. Shaista Sohail and USEFP Executive Director Ms. Rita Akhtar signed the MoU on June 16, through which the Government of Pakistan will contribute USD 5 million per year to the Fulbright-HEC PhD Program.

Fulbright is the flagship scholarship program of the U.S. Department of State, operating in 165 countries. Since 2005, Pakistan has had the world’s largest Fulbright Program in terms of U.S. government financial contribution, with approximately 100 master’s and 25 PhD scholarships funded annually. The HEC-USEFP MoU funds an additional 25 PhDs per year, bringing the total to 50.

“This MoU provides funding for 125 exceptional Pakistanis to complete PhD programs at some of the best universities in the United States,” explained USEFP Executive Director Rita Akhtar. “It represents a spectacular contribution to the social and economic development of Pakistan as well as to mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries. Our Fulbright grantees return to Pakistan to apply new skills and knowledge in every field and sector of Pakistan’s economy.”

According to U.S. Embassy Chargé d’affaires Les Viguerie, “The U.S.-Pakistan education partnership is among the best in the world, and the United States values the Pakistani students who enrich American campuses across our country.”

The Fulbright Program is a fully funded, merit-based program that provides the opportunity to conduct research and implement skills and ideas. The participants hail from different regions of Pakistan and study at leading universities in the United States.

USEFP is a bi-national commission established in 1950 by the governments of the United States and Pakistan. Since its inception, more than 9,000 Pakistanis and over 935 Americans have participated in USEFP-managed exchange programs. Its mission is to promote mutual understanding between the people of Pakistan and the people of the United States through exchange programs.
Riaz Haq said…
United States Ambassador Donald Blome joined officials from the University of Utah and the Federal Minister for Planning Development and Special Initiatives, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, to inaugurate the International Summit on Higher Education and Workforce Development today.

The summit was organized by the U.S.-funded Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA) and focuses on the role of higher education in the 21st century, highlighting the fluid nature of learning and employment, and explores how universities can reposition themselves in this ever-changing landscape.

Ambassador Donald Blome celebrated the 75 years of partnership between the U.S. and Pakistan and said, “In a country where more than 60 percent of the population is below the age of 30, we must continue to help youth achieve their full potential.”

Minister Iqbal remarked that the Government of Pakistan is open to improving the higher education system and is looking into various options to capitalize on the abundant youth potential in the country. He appreciated Pakistan’s 75-year partnership with the U.S. government and celebrated the support provided by the U.S. government to academia through specialized investment in higher education. He further added that academic institutions and the public and private sectors should join hands to accelerate this development. Mr. Iqbal tasked Pakistani higher education officials to improve higher education.

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC), said that HEC will continue working with the U.S. government to build a cadre of experts to improve graduate employability.

Senator Keith Grover, Utah State Senator from the United States noted, “it is the ultimate goal of an institute to provide necessary skills for youth so they can positively contribute to the workforce both locally and globally.”

HESSA is supported by the United States through USAID, and is implemented in collaboration with 16 Pakistani public universities and other stakeholders, with a focus on strengthening universities’ capacity to deliver market-driven education, research, and graduate employability.
Riaz Haq said…
Two Titan submersible passengers were prominent science philanthropists in Pakistan

Two of the passengers who died when the Titansubmersible imploded on its way to explore the wreckage of the Titanic in the North Atlantic belonged to a family that are prominent philanthropic funders of science in Pakistan.

Shahzada Dawood, and his son, Suleman Dawood, were part of the Dawood Foundation, which set up a university, girls’ school and museum, all with major focuses on science.

“The tragic loss of father and son is, first and foremost, a human tragedy and a tragedy for the family,” says environmental scientist Adil Najam, who also studies philanthropic giving in Pakistan. “We have also lost someone with a real, personal and abiding interest in science. It is a tremendous loss of a champion for science.”

“This is a huge tragedy for Pakistan,” adds Atta-ur-Rahman, a chemist at the University of Karachi and a former minister for science. “The [Dawood] family has made enormous contributions to education and science during the last five or six decades.”

The Dawood family’s foundation established the Dawood University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi; the Karachi School of Business and Leadership; the MagnifiScience Centre, Pakistan's first contemporary science museum also in Karachi. Dawood public school provides high quality science education for girls, Najam says.

Members of the Dawood family posted a statement to the foundation website about the deaths of Shahzada and Suleman. “We are truly grateful to all those involved in the rescue operations. The immense love and support we receive continues to help us endure this unimagineable loss.” The statement also said: “At this time, we are unable to receive calls and request that support, condolences and prayers be messaged instead.”

Both Rahman and physicist Pervez Hoodbhoy of the Black Hole Institute, a science and cultural centre in Islamabad, say that the Dawood Foundation is a rare example of much-needed science-philanthropy. Many young people are trying to leave Pakistan because of an economic crisis and a lack of opportunities. Around 800,000 people left in 2022 to seek work abroad. Between 400 and 750 people from Pakistan, as well as Egypt and Syria died last week when a boat capsized off the Mediterranean Sea on its way from Libya to Europe, according to media reports.

The Dawood family foundation has tried to address these problems by creating opportunities for science education. Rahman adds that there is much more that needs to be done. “We need to rethink our national policies, so that we can use this huge pool of talent for our own socio-economic development,” he says.
Riaz Haq said…
Family of Pakistani father and son who died in Titan submersible shares memories and gratitude

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The family of two Pakistani men who died in the implosion of a submersible as it descended to the wreckage of the Titanic held a virtual memorial service Tuesday and thanked everyone who tried to rescue the father and son or sent condolences from around the world.

The prayer service was arranged by the family of Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman, days after authorities confirmed that everyone on the Titan died. The submersible carrying five people imploded near the site of the shipwrecked Titanic and killed everyone on board.

Shahzada Dawood’s widow, Christina Dawood, was in tears as she shared memories of her husband and son. She was on board a support vessel on June 18 when she got word that communications with the Titan submersible had been lost during its voyage to the ocean floor.

In her remarks, she thanked those who had helped the family in its time of grief. The service was broadcast on YouTube through the family’s charity, the Dawood Foundation.

Shahzada and Suleman Dawood were members of one of Pakistan’s most prominent families. The elder man’s father, Hussain Dawood, said during Tuesday’s service that his son and grandson were gifts of God that had been taken back by God.

He also described the two as martyrs and said “martyrs go straight to paradise.”

“What does the father say” when he faces such a tragedy, he asked.

Hussain Dawood, said Suleman and Shahzada were very excited about going to see the Titanic and before leaving for their voyage convinced him that“we should go to Antarctica, too” next winter.

“I’m actually convinced they have enriched our lives beyond measure,” Dawood said, vowing, “We will take forward their legacy.”

Christina Dawood shared memories of when she first met her husband and their wedding in Pakistan’s eastern city of Lahore.

When Suleman was born, her husband was happy like other fathers but “when he held his son for the first time, I just knew these two belong together,” the wife and mother said. She sensed then that he had “found a long-lost companion for his adventures to come.”

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