Shahzeb Anwer will get married in Pakistan, his home country, and all of Birmingham, Alabama, was invited to the celebration.
Anwer and Birmingham are no strangers-despite spending only a short amount of time in this city in Alabama, Anwer said that he felt like a favored son of Birmingham during the time spent there.
This is why he wanted to repay the city by inviting everyone to his special day.
Anwer Decided to Schedule a Surgery in Alabama
This 31-year-old was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism. This illness caused Anwer to have kidney stones once or twice per year since he was 18.
He also struggled with digestive and skin issues. He was informed that there was a surgery that could help him out with his medical problem, but it wasn’t available in Pakistan.
He started to look for places where he could travel and get the surgery. He checked out Singapore, Turkey, India, and even the UK; however, the pandemic and the restrictions on travel complicated things a lot.
Anwer started to worry about the costs of the surgery and the travel costs as well. During his research, he discovered that one UAB hospital located in Birmingham will cost around half of what he was told at other hospitals.
This is when he started to read more about Alabama-a state where he had never been to or heard of. He asked questions on social media about Alabama and inquired to learn more about their culture.
He asked people from Alabama to tell him about clothes-he wanted to know what type of clothes should he take to the US. He wanted to know if his current wardrobe is suitable or whether he needed something extra to take with him.
According to Anwer, people’s responses were overwhelming-they responded in a manner that he wouldn’t ever expect from Pakistani people to do.
The group named Magic City helped Anwer to learn more about how to get there safely, offered him plenty of other tips, and also cheered him to come to Alabama.
One of the people who reached out to Anwer privately was Andrew Harris-he did it because he wanted Anwer to let go of any stereotypes that he might have had for Alabama and the South.
Anwer Arrives in Alabama, Gets the Welcome of a Lifetime
Harris helped Anwer out when he arrived in Birmingham. He assisted him with transportation, took him to the store, they went out to eat together, as well as to his medical appointments.
Harris said how Anwer would always try to pay him but that he didn’t want the money because he knew he had made a friend for life.
Anwer fell in love with Birmingham. It was his first time out of Pakistan and he was regular at Indian and Thai restaurants. He also tried the food at McDonald’s, KFC, Five Guys, etc.
He walked through the Mountain Brook trails and through Highland Park.
The Surgery Goes Well, Anwer Resolves the Medical Problem That He’s Been Dealing with for Years
The surgery went well and Anwer resolved the health issue which had bothered him for years. This also meant that it was time for him to go back to his home country.
But, Harris wasn’t ready to let go of his friend, just yet. He explains that he felt a hole in his belly and his heart, knowing he was going to be so far away.
Although they’ve known each other shortly, Anwer is such an important person in his life.
After getting back to Pakistan, Anwer planned to get married soon so he posted to Reddit again, inviting everyone from Birmingham to his wedding.
Though he wasn’t sure if anyone from there will be able to make it to his special day, he said that it felt like he owed the city an invitation.
He was treated there like a favored son and got the attention like nowhere else.