Omair Alavi|Published August 21, 2020
Engin Altan talks to the children during the virtual meeting.
KARACHI: It was truly a dream come true for three terminally ill children who got to meet Turkish actor Engin Altan virtually through Make-A-Wish Foundation on Tuesday.
The colourful ceremony was organized by the foundation and was attended by celebrities and prominent Karachiites. Along with Turkish Consul General Tolga Ucak, Commissioner Karachi Iftikhar Shallwani, Make-A-Wish trustees retired Justice Ashraf Jahan, Dr Ikhtiar Baig, Najia Ashraf, Dr Farhan Essa and the families of the children were present.
The three children — Sidra, Fiza and Sohail — wore traditional Turkish outfits and got a chance to speak directly to Engin Altan, via video link. They not only praised Ertugrul, but also informed him that they were over the moon on meeting him, a wish they didn’t expect to be granted so soon. One of the three children also told Mr Altan that he was mighty impressed by his character Ertugrul especially when he placed his hand on his heart at the mention of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
Mr Altan, elated on meeting his young fans, replied in the affirmative when they asked him whether they resembled the characters in the TV series. He also thanked the Pakistani audience in general and the foundation in particular for their love and support. He also announced that he would love to visit Pakistan as soon as Covid-19 is over and interact with all his fans in person.
The ceremony was hosted by the gorgeous Ayesha Omer whereas film and TV star Humayun Saeed, Zeba Bakhtiar and director Nadeem Baig were also in attendance. Due to the shortage of time, only Humayun Saeed was able to talk to Engin Altan but in his short interaction, the Pakistani actor told his Turkish counterpart that Ertugrul was extremely popular in Pakistan, and people loved Mr Altan’s acting in the series that began airing on PTV in Ramazan.
Mr Ishtiaq Baig, the founding president of Make-A-Wish Foundation Pakistan, also spoke and told the Ertugrul actor that he was so popular in Pakistan that if he contested the general elections he would surely win. Also, the theme song of Ertugrul Ghazi was presented by Midhat Hidayat who impressed the audience with her powerful rendition. In the end, the foundation gifted a sword to Mr Altan, on which the first kalima was engraved. It was received by the Turkish CG on behalf of the star and would be delivered to him in the coming days.
Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2020