Shamshad Ali Siddiqui is well known amongst the Pakistani community in Riyadh. He wears several hats at the same time. That is he is a writer, an erstwhile journalist, a social worker, entrepreneur, a golfer and so on. He is in the Kingdom since past more than 25 years or so.
He was born in Sant Nagar-Lahore in 1956. He received early education in Lahore and then his parents moved to Karachi where he finished his Secondary and Intermediate education from Government School and College in Nazimabad, respectively. Later on, he accomplished his graduation in the faculty of Arts form Islamia College in Karachi in 1976. In Islamia College, he also got involved in students politics and was elected as the Joint Secretary to the Students Union. He was a media savvy right from his childhood when as a fasting-child his photo got published in a local newspaper for keeping fast for the entire month of Ramadan. He got shot into the news once again during the 1965 war against India for volunteering in a campaign called “Ek Payee Mein Ek Tank”, meaning let’s help the army purchase battle tanks by contributing just a hundredth fraction of a Rupee.
Social worker that he is and had always remained so. This in fact had remained in his instinct since the early days of his life. This is evident from the fact that he had founded a welfare entity called Anjuman Khuddam-e-Insaniyat (Society for the Service of Humanity) way back in 1976. After trying his luck in jobs here and there in Pakistan, he finally moved to Saudi Arabia in 1982 in pursuit of a better career.
In Saudi Arabia his life and career had been amazingly intriguing. His first ever job was with a Mexican Restaurant Chain where he worked as its banquet manager for a short stint before joining a US company dealing with maintenance works. Working as a maintenance manager, he worked very hard for the company per se for about 10 years or so. In this job, he learnt the skills and the nitty gritty about maintenance works and this motivated him to leave the job and start some thing of his own. He thus founded his very own maintenance company in 1992 where he was able to build his own clientele and thus established it in a very short spell of time. This was though a short-lived venture due to some problems with his sponsor and the company had to be eventually closed. For more than a year or so, he had to pass through a difficult time of his life.
However, he didn’t lose heart and hope and with the help and assistance form his friends & acquaintances in Riyadh, he was able to bounce back. In 1993, he thus laid the foundation of yet another company; this time with the help of a Pakistani-Saudi sponsor. This was in fact a stepping-stone and the beginning of his success. He continued to ride the ladder of success never looked back ever since.
Since 2002, thanks to the Saudi new rules for expatriate business holding, he is now an owner of a full-fledged maintenance company called Amaq Contracting Company. His company now does a remarkable business in the fields of building maintenance, renovation and construction contracting in Riyadh.
Ever since Shamshad Siddiqui arrived in Saudi Arabia, he made it a point to stay connected with the various wheeler-n-dealers and movers-n-shakers of the Pakistani expatriate community in Riyadh. Compelled from his literary and social instincts, he first laid down the foundation of Pakistan Social Society in 1986. Later he founded Pakistan Writers Forum in 1987. In several stints of journalistic career in Saudi Arabia, he was first associated with Daily Jang-Karachi for a long time reporting passionately from Riyadh. Later he was appointed the first ever correspondent from Riyadh for Urdu News which is a subsidiary of daily Arab News – an English daily from Saudi Arabia.
He got associated with Muhibban-e-Pakistan – a welfare organization of MQM - and also joined Pakistan Culture Group (aka: PCG) where he is still involved as its Social Events Secretary. He wears several other hats as well. He is the President of Pakistan Forum – a literary organization, General Secretary of Pakistan Investors Forum (PIF) and is also a member of executive committee of Middle East Association of Pakistanis (aka: MAP), which is engaged in philanthropy works in various cities of Pakistan. To-date to MAP’s credit remains three welfare hospitals established already in Karachi (1998), Multan (2000), and Lahore in 2003. The fourth one is expected to be inaugurated shortly in Gujranwala.
Shamshad Siddiqui has authored and edited three publications namely: Sehra Mein Gulab (Desert Roses) which is a collection of poetry works of the Pakistani expatriate poets in Riyadh, PCG magazine brought out on the occasion of its 20th anniversary and finally the business directory of Pakistan Investors Forum-Riyadh. He is an ardent player of golf also and has won several laurels in this sport too including the last coveted prize as runner-up for the Air France Trophy.
Shamshad Siddiqui is married with three teen-ager sons. Now that he has time he intends to enter into active politics in Pakistan. For this purpose he has joined and is very active with Muhibban-e-Pakistan (a welfare subsidiary of MQM) as its Middle East Coordinator.