As Pakistan lays to rest renowned philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who died of renal failure at the age of 88 years old, Qatar residents have been lamenting his passing and celebrating his legacy.
For the past six decades, Edhi and his wife Bilquis ran the largest welfare organization in Pakistani, the Edhi Foundation for the poor and destitute.
They also operated an ambulance service, nursing homes, orphanages, women’s shelters and soup kitchens across the country, as well as provided support internationally to those in need in the US, India, Russia and other nations.
A tireless social worker, Edhi has been called Pakistan’s “Mother Theresa” and an “Angel of Mercy,” as he and his volunteers were often among the first to arrive at the scenes of bombings and natural disasters.
In keeping with being a man of the people, Edhi turned down an offer to get medical treatment abroad when his health deteriorated, insisting on going to a government hospital in Pakistan instead, the BBC reports.
And according to this foundation, the man lived an ascetic lifestyle, only owning two pairs of clothes and residing in a small two-bedroom apartment over his clinic in Karachi.
Praying for paradise
In Qatar, many are expressing their condolences on social media, saying that they hope Edhi rests in peace and that his legacy continues:
RIP Abdul Sattar Edhi: "I will go to heaven where the poor and miserable people live." https://t.co/TgWj9aBpcb
— Arnab Neil Sengupta (@arnabnsg) July 9, 2016
— Samina Khan (@Khan_Samina06) July 8, 2016
#Edhi Today, not only Pakistan but humanity lost a big asset, orphans became real orphans.
— Ali The Imranist (@Jalangialswati) July 8, 2016
— Hani Arif (@haniarif) July 8, 2016
In the hours after Edhi’s death, there has also been a swelling of support to award him a Nobel Peace Prize posthumously.
Many of his supporters have resented the fact that despite being nominated several times, he was never awarded the prize during his lifetime.
But Edhi himself didn’t appear bothered by it:
— Anealla (@anealla) July 9, 2016
According to CNN, Edhi will receive a state funeral, the nation’s first in 28 years.
“If anyone deserves to be wrapped in the flag of the nation he served, it is him,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in a statement.
As per his wishes, he is being buried in the Edhi Village, a shelter on the outskirts of Karachi for abandoned women, the elderly and the mentally impaired.
This is the grave, btw, that Edhi dug for himself with his own hands 20 years ago.
— Hasan Zaidi (@hyzaidi) July 9, 2016