Veteran Bollywood actor performs Haj discreetly

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Updated 08 October 2014
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Veteran Bollywood actor performs Haj discreetly

Prominent Indian actor and scriptwriter Kader Khan was awestruck by the Kaaba when he saw it for the first time, according to his son who accompanied him on Haj this year. Sarfaraz Khan, who is also an actor in the Indian film industry, said the 78-year-old simply stared at the structure.
“He looked at the Kaaba seemingly forever and was completely mesmerized by it,” he told Arab News during a conversation in Mina on Monday. “There is a huge difference between theory and practice,” Sarfaraz said, quoting from his father. “We read a lot about religious practices but to come here and see it all in reality provides a real and tangible context to our prayers.”
Sarfaraz, 38, and his younger brother, Shahnawaz, 35, accompanied their father on Haj. Kader Khan, who acted in more than 400 films and scripted an equal number, was ruffled by the attention from his fans and curious onlookers. “They would come and shake hands with him and he would look a little disapprovingly at them,” said Sarfaraz. “He told them to focus on their religious duty and to allow him to do his duty toward Allah.”
Sarfaraz said his father never hankered after fame. “It came to him unasked. He was not into films. He was teaching civil engineering at M.H. Saboo Siddik College of Engineering in Mumbai and he would do theater as a hobby. One day, Bollywood’s legendary actor Yusuf Khan, popularly known as Dilip Kumar, was looking for a character actor when someone told him about my father. Dilip Kumar liked my father’s acting and cast him in a film called ‘Bairaag.’ That is how his film journey began in 1976,” he said.
Arab News did not persist in seeing Kader Khan because Sarfaraz said his father did not want to give interviews and sought to carry out his religious duties in peace.
Sarfaraz said his grandfather, Kader Khan’s father, was an Islamic scholar of repute. “My father too is a scholar in his own right. He has written more than 200 books on Islamic studies. He loved teaching. My father had a knack of explaining complex things in a very easy way and so my grandfather asked him to use that talent to good use,” he said.
Sarfaraz said his father was born in Kabul and not Baluchistan as is widely believed thanks to a Wikipedia entry. “My mother comes from Quetta,” he said. His father has never been to his country and city of birth, said Sarfaraz. “But now he wants to.”
He said his father has a close relationship with Abdul Kuddus, 46, the eldest son in the family, who is based in Canada. “He is more like a friend to him. Whereas we are simply dutiful sons, always nodding our heads to everything he says,” said Sarfaraz with a smile.
Sarfaraz recalled many anecdotes from his father’s life. “Our eldest brother Abdul Quddus would always end up fighting fellow students at school in Mumbai because they would tease him by saying, ‘Look, your father got a good drubbing in that film,’” he said. “Such frequent fights at school led my father to give up playing the role of villain in Bollywood films.”
In an industry known for actors promoting their progeny, Sarfaraz said his father never picked up the phone to ask his fellow actors, directors or scriptwriters to give them a break. “He never did that,” said Sarfaraz. “He wanted us to chart our own course, create our own space.”
Both Sarfaraz and Shahnawaz have acted in and directed films. Despite being in the film industry, they are deeply God-fearing. “That is in our DNA,” said Sarfraz, who was very courteous and affable throughout the conversation. The two sons took turns carrying their wheelchair-bound father at the holy sites. “It was extremely gratifying and heartening to be here with our father,” he said. “It is always an indescribable feeling to see a smile on your father’s face. As sons, what else can we ask for?”


MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

Updated 25 March 2019
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MiSK, Qiddiya team up for internship program 

  • Interns will work on entertainment mega-project
  • Program open to university seniors and new graduates

RIYADH: A new internship program for young Saudis has been launched in the Kingdom, following a partnership between Misk Foundation and the Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC).

The program runs from June 16 to Aug. 31, 2019, and provides an opportunity for university seniors and recent graduates to be part of Qiddiya, an entertainment mega-project located 40 minutes from Riyadh.

Interns will have the chance to work at Qiddiya’s corporate offices alongside professionals from around the world and will be placed across 12 departments.

They will learn and develop skills that are required to succeed in their professional lives.

They will also gain exposure to QIC’s culture and learn from executives with over 20 years of experience across several sectors. 

QIC CEO Mike Reininger said: “We are contributing directly to the Saudi Vision (2030 reform plan) by creating a richer lifestyle for Saudi citizens while spurring innovation in the creative, hospitality and entertainment sectors. This unique opportunity allows students and fresh graduates to experience what it takes to be part of the change in Saudi by giving them the chance to work alongside a group of both local and international seasoned professionals. Thanks to this partnership with MiSK, we will be training the next generation of industry leaders.” 

Application to the program is open for those with fewer than two years of professional experience. Candidates must show strong academic credentials and submit a short video as part of their application.

King Salman led the Qiddiya ground-breaking ceremony in front of a global audience last April.

The project is aimed at helping to stem the $30 billion a year which Saudis currently spend abroad on tourism, and has the backing of the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund.

It targets local, regional and international tourists and will be Saudi Arabia’s preeminent entertainment, sports and cultural destination.

It is expected to be the world’s largest entertainment city by 2030, with a total area of 334 square kilometers, surpassing Walt Disney World in Florida, which is only 110 sq. km.