FAMOUS REFUGEES. Part -IV

Nasreddin Murat-Khan. Architect of one of the most significant national monuments: Minar-e-Pakistan.

Nasreddin Murat-Khan was born in 1904 in Dagestan, in the then Russian Empire. In 1930, he obtained his degree of civil engineering from the Institute of Architects at Leningrad State University.

Deeply involved in a movement to free the Caucasus from the USSR, Nasreddin Murat-Khan was forced to flee Daghestan for fear of life. Escaping with the retreating German army some time in 1944, he landed in Berlin and became another number in the refugee camps run by United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). There he met Hamida Akmut, a Turkish girl of Pakistani and Austrian descent. Nasreddin and Hamida married in the refugee camp.

While in camp, Nasreddin received his Foreigners Pass that allowed him to move around and work. It was then that Nasreddin and his wife decided to move to the newly born state of Pakistan where Hamida’s father, Dr. Abdul Hafeez resided. In 1950, Nasreddin and family arrived in Lahore. Four years later, he was granted citizenship of Pakistan.

Nasreddin established his architecture firm and had a flourishing career during which he designed many private homes besides undertaking some significant projects such as Qaddafi Stadium, Nishtar Medical College and Fortress Stadium. The most significant project of Nasreddin’s life was Minar-e-Pakistan for which he was awarded Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by President of Pakistan in 1963. Nasreddin passed away in 1970.

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