UFPID Arranges Historic Independence Day Celebrations

A Pakistan Link Report

The emotionally charged Pakistani-American crowd at the Exposition Park, Los Angeles, 11 August
Left to right: Najam Sheraz, Ali Haider and Alamgir

Los Angeles, CA: The 60th Pakistan Independence Day celebrations at the Los Angeles Exhibition Park on August 11 furnished a truly soul-lifting spectacle. The surging crowd continued to multiply by the minute. The heavy traffic choked the nearby Kings Blvd as spirited Pakistanis sped to the park, which caused the parking lots to overflow, and forced the organizers to permit parking on nearby lawns.
Each individual in the crowd , which according to some estimates exceeded 18,000, appeared visibly charged, yet no rowdy behavior was in evidence. Instead, a rare patriotic fervor marked the proceedings.
The event generated a great deal of jollity and disciplined merriment. There were vivid manifestations of the spirit of Unity, Faith and Discipline, thanks to the splendid arrangements made by the organizers - United for Pakistan Independence Day (UFPID). Most members of the community described the celebrations as “historic” and the “best” organized in the history of Los Angeles. Accolades for UFPID followed, and deservedly so.
The speakers included Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas, Deputy Mayor Arif Alikhan on behalf of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, Sheriff Leroy D. Baca of Los Angeles County, Sheriff Donny Youngblood of Kern County, Assistan Sheriff Jack Anderson of Orange County; Policy Advisor Jenny Presswals of Homeland Security; Hollywood celebrity Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, of Way to Happiness; et al. Their messages also appeared in a souvenir magazine published on the occasion. A few excerpts:

Pictures above: Independence Day celebrations organized by UFPID at the Exposition Park in Los Angeles, 11 August 2007

Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas: “… On this historic occasion, I appeal to every member of the community to come forward to project and promote Pakistan here in your adopted homeland. We all should build bridges between our motherland and the adopted country, the United States of America. We all must have pride in ourselves as Pakistanis. Let us reiterate today to adhere to the guiding principles of Faith, Unity and Discipline and contribute our utmost for making Pakistan a truly modern, dynamic and democratic Islamic welfare state… I wish to conclude by congratulating the United for Pakistan Independence Day (UFPID) for organizing the 60th Independence Day celebrations in most befitting manner…”
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles: “…I am pleased to join with other members of the community in recognizing United for Pakistan Independence Day’s commitment and dedication to enhancing the diverse Pakistani-American community and their contribution to the celebration of its independence…”
Sheriff Leroy D. Baca: “…On behalf of the men and women of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, I applaud your (UFPID) efforts to serve the community by promoting inter-cultural understanding and increased communication between the various ethnic groups that comprise our community. I would also like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to tonight’s honorees. They have demonstrated a commendable civic spirit and a steadfast devotion to improving the quality of life in our community while performing admirably in their respective arenas…”
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood: “… The Pakistani community is an integral segment of America, whose culture demonstrates a commitment to close community ties and entrepreneurial leadership. These are ideals on which America was founded and continue to represent the path toward making our country a better place to live.”
Entertainment was in plenty with leading restaurants, clothing vendors, and companies like AT&T and T-Mobil joining in the fun. Those who attended could also get a chance to walk away with many free items given away by many of these vendors, or for a small price could put henna on their hands or play fun games in the kids area.
Famous Pakistani singers Alamgir, Ali Haider, and Najm Shiraz electrified the crowd with their performances. Najm stood out as the best among the trio and was warmly applauded for his scintillating national songs.
A large number of local artists and bands including Arshad Ali, Jibran, Silkjive, Pehchaan and Dastan also performed and were duly applauded. The entertainment also included dhol performances and a brilliant fashion show staged by the youth of the community.

Pictures above: Independence Day celebrations organized by UFPID at the Exposition Park in Los Angeles, 11 August 2007

The United for Pakistan Independence Day Advisory Committee consisted of Abubakr Vakil, Arif Mansuri, Atiq Siddiqui, Mubarik Awan, Hamid Malik, Irfan Murtaza, Jameel Bhatti, Asad Qazi, Samin Faruqi, Shams Hasan, Syed Ashraf Ali and Waqar Khan.
The Organizing Committee comprised of Ismail Keekeebhai, Javed Iqbal, Hashir Malik, YKKB, and Sameer Moosani. Both the committees got invaluable support from a large number of volunteers, including many youth. The Advisory Committee, Organizing Committee and volunteers have undoubtedly earned the gratitude and respect of the community for their painstaking efforts and admirable planning. The community too demonstrated impeccable behavior. Thank you all.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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