The Extra ordinary father son duo that flew around the globe for a cause
“Breaking out of the routine of day to day life requires bravery in more than one form.”
Haris Suleman, 17-year old pilot.
Although he was young, he certainly had a cause – a cause, which would be carried on by the people even when he will no more be with them. Haris Suleman was a US based Pakistani who, alongside his father Babar Suleman, learned to fly not only due to his personal obsessions for flying, but for a cause.
Haris and his father decided to raise money for The Citizens Foundation (TCF), a non-governmental organization that builds schools for children in Pakistan. Together, they had planned to take the journey to more than 20 destinations around the world for the fundraising. But moments after their take-off to Hawaii, locals saw the plane going down in the Pacific after sending out a distress signal. Haris’ body was found with the debris immediately but even after a year now, the father’s body is yet to be found. The Suleman’s are still hopeful that, even after a year, they would leave no stone unturned in finding the missing body.
Their ultimate mission was to raise a million dollars for building schools in the rural areas of Pakistan. By far, they had managed to raise almost around $500,000 from various destinations around the world before the tragic incident. The places the father son duo flew to and collected charity from included Australia, Egypt and Italy. More than $3 million have been raised up till now for the construction of the schools. The dream of the duo was to build 5 schools in the rural areas of Pakistan, out of which they had already collected donations for two of them before the tragic incident.
The Pakistani government has also acknowledged the great contribution the father-son duo did towards the improvement of education standards in Pakistan and Haris was awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz for his outstanding initiative for the children of Pakistan.
Ms. Hiba Suleman, the elder sister of Haris and the only daughter to Babar Suleman, is determined to carry out the dream her brother and her father left behind.“I will continue to carry on their legacy and their message to promote education for the poor,” she said.
The American media has recently stepped up to create a documentary celebrating the heroes’ lives and further on, to inspire more people to live for others in order to be truly succeeded.
“We can’t all fly, but we can all have convictions that change the world.”
– Ms. Hiba Suleman
Truly, Haris and his father succeeded in what they dreamed of: inspiring thousands of people and leaving behind a legacy, a legacy that would surely bring smiles to the parents of the students studying at TCF once they see their children going forth, serving his country.