FAMILY, friends and work colleagues have paid their respects to a hard-working Gosport businessman who brought companies closer to the Muslim community.
Noor Awan died age 68 after a two-week battle with kidney cancer.
Mr Awan, from Gosport, was the director of structural engineering at McAndrew Martin, a network of property professionals based in Hampshire, but also one of the elders at the Portsmouth’s Jami Mosque in Victoria Road North.
After a period of mourning, a celebration was held at Portsmouth Guildhall for family and friends
Speaking on behalf of his family, Mr Awan’s niece Tabassum Awan, described him as a ‘beautiful, pure spirit’.
‘You did not sit on the sidelines, you stood up,’ she said.
The managing director of McAndrew Martin, Bill McAndrew, knew Mr Awan for 35 years.
He said the elder was able to bring people at the company closer to the city’s Muslim community.
‘Through him we have done a fair bit of work with the mosque,’ he explained.
‘He would talk about what he was doing there quite a lot and that was the foundation of a strong relationship between us.
‘I respected Noor for his professional advice and his positive attitude to the business.
‘I respected his values, his openness, the feeling of inclusivity he brought to the business and the way he treated younger members of staff.’
Abdurahman Sayed, CEO of Al-Manaar The MCHC Trust, travelled from London to lead a prayer in memory of Mr Awan.
He said he felt compelled to visit him after learning that he was being looked after in a hospice.
‘You could say that I realised it might be the last time I might meet him but I strongly believe we will meet again in the hereafter,’ he said.
The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Cllr David Fuller, paid tribute to Mr Awan’s deep connections and association with mosques in both Gosport and Portsmouth.
Cllr Fuller said: ‘He was such a great man in the community and on behalf of Portsmouth City Council, I would like to send my love and best wishes to Mr Awan’s family and friends.’