Nazir Awan was known as “a role model and leading community figure”, a father, grandfather and businessman who lost his battle with COVID-19 tragically died on Wednesday 9 April.
Nazir Awan was the chief executive of Awan International and well known for his extensive charity work, fell ill nearly two weeks ago with fever and was taken to Good Hope Hospital.
His grieving son and business partner Amer Awan, 44, said: “He touched so many hearts- he was a great advisor.
“His grandchildren loved him. He always told me you treat everybody equally, be humble and compassionate.
“Our surname is Awan which means to help others.
“He would say, your grandfather helped others and you must do that.
“I feel very proud to have known him. I was blessed to have a father like him. ”
The 67-year-old was one of the first Pakistani families to set up businesses in the city with Awan International on Great Hampton Street, Hockley, which sold branded products and Awan real estate Ltd- a successful property portfolio.
Amer said: “He was known as the ‘tape king’ back in the day because he was a major distributor of consumer electroincs.”
Amer said: “He was a very proud man. He always said son look after your parents. He was also a fit man, he watched what he ate, was into his fitness and would cycle seven or eight miles before work.
“He left a fantastic legacy and it’s up to us to continue that. I must’ve received about 700 or 800 calls from all over the world yesterday.
“He died on a very religious day in the Islamic calender and that gives us some solace I suppose.”
Tributes are being paid in their hundreds on social media.
MP Khalid Mahmood said: “Very saddened to hear about the passing of my friend Nazir Awan to the coronavirus. They were one of two earliest families to set businesses within the Pakistani community.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time.
“This virus does not discriminate.”
Councillor Majid Mahmood was deeply saddened by the news of his death and described him as “a fighter to the end who leaves a legacy in our city.
“A very kind hearted individual who used to help in all charities, and community events.”
Sheraz Awan posted: “God bless uncle Awan.
“You’re at peace and may you be granted the highest place in heaven.
“You were a beautiful person.”