Pakistan community in UAE grieves loss of ‘heartthrob’

Pakistan community in UAE grieves loss of 'heartthrob'

Jamshed's popular clothing line, J., has several outlets across the UAE

A pall of gloom descended upon the Pakistani community in the UAE after the news of the death of the country's iconic singer-turned preacher, Junaid Jamshed, 52, in an air crash on Wednesday.

Jamshed's cousin, Shahrukh Mirza, a Dubai resident, said: "Despite being a household name over the last few decades, Junaid was a very humble, kind and approachable man who touched the lives of millions across the globe not only during his stardom but also later on through his 'known and unknown' charity works.

"My fondest memory of Junaid is from 1989, when Junaid bhai, a rockstar then, came to University of Houston, Texas (where I was a business school student at the time) and performed with his band."

Jamshed - who severed his ties with the music industry when he was at the peak of his music career - was on his way back from Chitral, a city in northern Pakistan, after attending a preaching trip with his family, who also died in the crash.

He last tweeted on December 4, saying: "Heaven on Earth Chitral. With my friends in the Path of Allah."

Jamshed's popular clothing line, J., which has several outlets across the UAE, remained closed on Wednesday and Thursday.

Jamshed launched his fashion clothing range J. in 2004 and opened his first brand outlet in Dubai in 2010 followed by two outlets in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi in 2011 under UAE-based Alif Investments Group.

"All of us here at Alif Investments, Dubai mourn the passing away of our beloved brother and business associate, Junaid Jamshed, who led by example in every field he ventured into. He was a great musician, Islamic scholar, entrepreneur and a great human being," said Abid Yousaf, Group CEO, Alif Investment.

Offering condolences on behalf of the Pakistani community, the Pakistan Association Dubai, said: "We also convey our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and pray that Allah may assuage the anguish of their bereavement."

Jamshed is survived by three sons and a daughter. His funeral will be held today after Juma prayers in his hometown Karachi. He shot to fame in 1987, as the lead singer of the pop band Vital Signs, and his track 'Dil Dil Pakistan' unofficially gained the status of national song of Pakistan due to its patriotic lyrics.

'We cried as we heard the news'

"Since the time I heard the news, I have been feeling like my own blood relation has died. We all (my family) cried when we heard of his death. Junaid Jamshed has always been in our hearts. We always heard his naats (religious hymns). My 10-year-old daughter Zainab and 8-year-old son Abdullah have even memorised few of his naats. We respect and love him more because he gave up singing and chose the right path."

Syed Ahmed, Air Traffic Engineer at Dubai International Airport

"I was shocked and saddened to hear about the untimely death of Jamshed, who has set an example through his life journey. He championed the cause of charity, preached the message of Allah and I just cannot forget his enthusiastic lectures during Ramadan. Pakistanis across the globe will miss him. I know for a fact that we never lose the people we love, even after their death because their love leaves an indelible mark on our memory. May his soul rest in peace. He will always stay alive in our memories."

UAE resident Suhail Khan, Group Director accounts, Al Yousuf LLC.

"The news of Junaid Jamshed's death has sent shock waves across the Pak community of the UAE. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected including a renowned religious preacher Junaid Jamshed and his family,"

Imran Rafiq Rana, vice-president at Pakistan Social Centre, Sharjah.