The Legacy of Naan Haji: Creating Impact in the Pamirs

Shazia Ayub

For the past few months, I have had the privilege of working in the Pamir region, where I have encountered the natives of this region especially professionals. Initially, they warmly greet me, assuming I am a Pamiri local. However, as our conversations unfolds, they soon discover that I hailed from Hunza, Pakistan. It was then that they inquire about Naan Haji (locally known as “Hoji”), who had spent over a decade or two working here. To begin with, Naan Haji is a mason from Hunza.

I would confirm my acquaintance with Naan Haji, as I happened to know him through one of my cousins. Their eyes would light up, and they’d express their admiration for this remarkable man who had transformed the stonework in the Pamir region giving examples of the mega projects.

While many development professionals pursue their education at prestigious institutions like MIT, Harvard, and Cambridge to learn how to touch people’s lives and make a meaningful impact, Naan Haji, a simple mason, known locally as a Masonry Engineer, had left a lasting legacy without the benefit of a formal degree.

It served as a reminder that not everyone needs a formal education to leave a profound legacy. Sometimes, it’s the passion and dedication with which one approaches their work that can spark a revolution and bring about transformation. Naan Haji, through his unyielding commitment to his craft, had not only changed the face of the masonry industry in the Pamir region but had also touched the lives of its people in a meaningful way.

Naan Haji is living proof that one’s legacy is not solely determined by academic credentials but by the impact they make through their work and their unwavering passion.

I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride that Naan Haji had not only left a positive image of the Hunza community but had also made us all proud through his remarkable contributions to the Pamir region.



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