Gulf Daily News
Bahrain, Oct 18: A LEADING member of the Pakistani community in Bahrain has offered to support Bahrain's first "airport baby" until she is five, it was revealed yesterday.
Engineer Rizwan Mumtaz said he would provide all financial support for the first five years, as well as pay for her education until she is 18.
The infant was born at Bahrain International Airport on Monday while her parents were in transit on their way from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia.
She was initially given the name Maleka after the doctor who delivered her, but has since been named Sameera by her parents.
Mr Mumtaz, a member of the Pakistan Community Welfare Committee, said he had already taken all the family's details and informed his banks in Pakistan.
He broke the news after visiting Sameera, her father Hussain Baksh, mother Irshad Khatoon and one-year-old brother Talib Hussain at the Muharraq Maternity Hospital yesterday.
"She is a very special child," he told the GDN.
"Bahrain will always be a very special place for her and the family."
Mr Mumtaz, who visited the family in the company of the Pakistan Embassy community welfare attaché Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani, also contributed BD50 to take care of the family's immediate needs.
Mr Gilani said the embassy would ensure that all the needs of the family were taken care of as long as they are in Bahrain.
"We have already given them BD100 as an immediate grant and all other needs will be taken care of," he said.
Pakistan Club executive board members also visited the family at the hospital. Club vice-chairman Mohammed Afzal Bhatti promised them all their assistance and support.
Sameera is due to be issued a passport by the embassy in the next few days and steps are being taken in co-ordination with the Saudi Arabian Embassy to get the family to their destination Mecca, he added.
"We are keen they complete what they set out to do and join the rest of their family in Saudi Arabia," he said.
Gulf Air has already agreed to provide hotel accommodation for the family, while the Health Ministry has waived the normal fee of BD125 for delivering expat babies.
"As soon as Ms Khatoon is ready to move around, staff will ensure the family is taken out shopping for clothes," added Mr Gilani.
However, he added that their immediate clothing needs had already been taken care of.
"Many people are already calling to help in many ways," he said. "We are co-ordinating on that."
Meanwhile, Ms Khatoon was yesterday found to have extremely low haemoglobin levels and was administered one unit of blood.
Doctors said she would be given another unit today before she is discharged later in the evening.
Sameera was born at the clinic of the Bahrain International Airport while her parents and brother waited to board a connecting flight to Jeddah, en route to Mecca, after having arrived on a Gulf Air flight from Karachi 10 hours earlier.
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