Pakistani Karate champ saved 14 people before drowning in Jeddah floods


Riyadh: Pakistani Farman Ali Khan is a hero not only for the victims of the devastating flood that struck eastern parts of Jeddah City but also for people in other parts of the kingdom.

Both Saudis and expatriates are paying homage to Farman, who saved 14 people in the November 25 flash floods and was drowned while trying to save another on that fateful morning.

Such a news you will never find at BBC, CNN or even at your local channels.

There is an electronic campaign under way to honour the Pakistani, who hails from Pakistan’s restive Swat Valley, where government forces have been battling militants for months. The e-campaign, especially on Facebook, is urging the authorities to do whatever possible to honour Farman.

Several Saudis are asking the authorities to grant Saudi citizenship to Farman’s children; they are dubbing Farman the “Hero of Jeddah” in honour of his bravery. Hundreds of e-mails are being circulated with various suggestions on how to honour the young man.

Some of these messages call to name one of Jeddah’s streets after Farman. Others calls for him to be honoured posthumously by decorating him with the King Abdul Aziz Medal while others call to give financial compensation for his family back in Pakistan.

Mosque imam

Thirty-two-year-old Farman was a university graduate and a Pakistani karate champion. He was serving as a mosque imam in the flood-hit district. He used tyre tubes, wooden planks and rope to save the people in Jeddah.

Abdullah, a Saudi citizen, credited Farman with saving him from certain death after his car was swept away in the flood. He was stuck on the roof of his car for an hour and a half before Farman rescued him using a rope.

The Saudi man was hurt by debris and had to be transferred to the nearest clinic.

Farman was trying to save the 15th person when the water swept him away.

Back at home, Farman had a wife and three daughters.

His youngest daughter Jarira has never seen her father.

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