My GiveLight Journey

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What’s your background?

I was born in Pakistan and my family lived in England before we came to the US when I was 15 years old. My father passed away when I was two years old, and my mother brought up my two older brothers and myself. We lived on my mother’s limited income and lots of help from family and friends.I graduated from High School when I was 14 but wasn’t able to start college for three years because my family couldn’t afford it until Wake Forest University gave me a scholarship. After that, I got a Fellowship to earn my Ph.D. in Computer Science from Duke University. My wife was born in Malaysia and went to Carnegie Mellon University. She provided the steady income while I took calculated risks as a serial entrepreneur. We were blessed with some successes that benefited us and helped create jobs for others.

How did you meet Dian? How did you get involved with GiveLight?

We met Dian at Granada Islamic School while our children were studying together. We become close family friends because my wife and Dian shared a common heritage and culture. When Dian’s hometown was ravaged by a deadly tsunami, Dian established GiveLight and gave us an opportunity to help the children who lost everything, especially their parents.

Why did you get involved with GiveLight?

I grew up poor without a father so I can empathize with the orphans who lost everything in Aceh’s tsunami. My wife’s mother lost her mother when she was a child and she and her 7 siblings grew up during World War II in extreme hardship. We felt that we have a responsibility for taking care of those orphans as they are just alike any of our children.

What does GiveLight mean to you?

GiveLight enables us to have an impact on children without parents. It is truly a privilege to be useful to so many people so easily that we feel that we are the ones who should be grateful for the opportunity to easily donate our money and support.

In what capacity do you support GiveLight?

My wife dedicates her time to editing GiveLight publications and making informative videos for GiveLight projects. Both of us chip in with money that God granted us. We are simply contributing money while GiveLight does the hard work of improving the lives for others.

What inspires you to continue supporting GiveLight?

GiveLight truly provides an opportunity for everyone to help orphans who desperately need financial and emotional support. In this relationship, we feel we benefit more than others because we give money we can afford to give in order to gain impact that is truly treasured in this life and the next.

What are your dreams and aspirations?

God has given us more than we could ever imagine. Now, we want to maximize our positive influence on others during our living years. We do not want to limit our goals to just achieving our own dreams and aspirations, but we derive benefit by helping others achieve their dreams and aspirations as well.

What would you like people to know about you?

We are fortunate to have many people who have helped us along the way in our lives.We want to thank all the people who have helped us, especially those who stood by us during difficult times.

What legacy would you like to leave in this world?

We want to be able to have a net positive effect on people in this world and be an inspiration for others to do good and mitigate evil.

How have you involved GiveLight in your golden birthday?

We launched a campaign for people to donate money to help GiveLight grow its work to support orphans. We would like others to feel the reward for helping others.

Why do you want to connect GiveLight with a very special moment in your life?

We couldn’t think of any other way to enable our friends and family to help so many people in so many places. We are truly blessed to that GiveLight has facilitated us helping others, and we want to provide the same opportunity for our friends and family. We can feel the love and prayers of GiveLight’s orphans and God’s guardianship in our daily lives.

~Salman Azhar