The Memon community living in the lower Sindh has roots that date back to the 16th century. These people are considered as the pioneers of all kinds of business. They occupy a position of high-rank and have a very lavish living style. Most people assume that they are business minded and only do deeds for monetary gains. This however is not true, businessmen they might be but they have contributed a lot to our nation even before and after partition. One such name is Hussain Ebrahim Jamal (HEJ), who, along with his brother Abdul Latif Ebrahim Jamal, worked endlessly for the upheaval of education and all sciences in Pakistan.
In 1928, at the age of 14 HEJ went into business with his uncle who dealt in cashew nuts. Interestingly this man before working for education was known as the King of Cashews.
He was an activist and participated in the politics of the middle-east with much zeal and enthusiasm. He was a member of the All India Muslim League in Bombay, a member of the Managing Community of Memon Chambers of Commerce. He was also made Justice of Peace by the governor of Bombay in recognition of his extraordinary services.
With lack of opportunity comes ambition. Hussain Ebrahim Jamal never got the chance to complete his higher education. This left him somewhat unfulfilled. He longed for a good education and dreamed of a more educated middle-east. His life endeavours working on literacy and education have only borne fruit because of his strong anticipation and hard work.
He and his brother were active members of the All Pakistan Memon Educational and Welfare Society and took keen interest in boarding houses. They always provided financial aid to educational institutions. Hussain Ebrahim Jamal also started schools in Nayababad and Khadda with handsome donations.
After his death in 1972, his brother Latif Ebrahim Jamal donated Rs. 5 million in 1976 for the development of a Science institution in Pakistan. It is unfortunate that HEJ could not see this Institute for what it is today.
It is called HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry at the University of Karachi. It has harboured over 250 PhD students and more are graduating each year.
It houses state of the art X-ray crystallography equipment and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Machines.
Abdul Latif Ebrahim Jamal kept working in the field of philanthropy and headed the Karachi Stock Exchange and the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He also passed away in 2004.
Both these gentleman were hardworking kindhearted men of upright character. May more like them come our way and show us light to a better, educated future.
By Ayesha Kaleem
NSS- Executive Publications