Silicon Valley’s Show of Love for Pakistan
By Zaki Syed
Lt. Gen. Perwez Shahid (center) and members of TCF
Farrukh Shah Khan
Alamgir with his young fans
Kids perform on the stage

What is one tool that is vital to make a nation stronger, to end poverty, and ensure a future for generations to come? The answer: Education. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. Pakistani-Americans of Silicon Valley also believe that and that is why they augmented Pakistan Day celebrations with promoting education in Pakistan through The Citizens Foundation (TCF).
TCF was established in 1995 in Pakistan, and expanded to include support organizations in the US, Canada, UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar. TCF currently has 344 schools in operation in all the four provinces of Pakistan. According to Lt. General Syed Parwez Shahid, TCF’s chief executive, TCF has even built twenty schools in the areas destroyed by the earthquake. Shahid believes it is necessary for TCF to raise funds, and to create awareness of their existence to the Pakistani public.
“They (Pakistani children) need a quality education,” said Shahid, “But, with quality education there comes a price tag.” The Silicon Valley Pakistani–Americans Association agreed with Shahid, and decided to put together a concert entitled “Peace through Education and Culture” in an effort to promote awareness of the TCF and its good work. The concert was held at the Cupertino Hall, Cupertino, CA. It took place on March 23, 2007 to celebrate the day the Pakistan Resolution was passed in which the plan for Pakistan was made. All proceeds from the concert went towards TCF.
“Main purpose of this (event) is to celebrate Pakistan, and get people engaged to volunteer,” said Amjad Noorani, volunteer for TCF.
The concert brought about local officials such as Albert Beltran Jr., field representative for Congressman Michale Honda. “I’ am here to stay in touch with the Pakistani community,” said Beltran.
Many Pakistani celebrities also appeared at the concert in support of TCF. Omar Khan, host of Geo’s Jaiza, acted as emcee for the event.

Kids around the Registration Booth
Local supporters
Nahid Niazi
Ready for food

“I’m here to support TCF, and all schools in Pakistan,” said Khan . According to him it is necessary for Pakistanis to support any and all causes related to education.
Another celebrity to make appearance at the concert was Nahid Niazi, who said that half of the proceeds from her next album would go to TCF. When asked if she would like to see more people at events such as these Niazi replied, “Yes, yes, they (people) should come so that they can hear and see positive things about Pakistan.”
Nahid’s son Feisal Mosleh, performed a song he wrote entitled “Yaad Aaya Pakistan”. Mosleh said that he was supportive of children’s education, and that getting the chance to see Alamgir at the concert was fulfilling a childhood dream.

Link’s reporter with Gen. Shahid

Cari Mosleh, Mosleh’s daughter and Nahid Niazi’s granddaughter, was also present. Cari, who has grown up in America, said that along with promoting education, the concert also exposes American youth to the Pakistani culture. “It lets us (Americans) see Pakistani culture, which is different, but entertaining,” said Cari.
Cari wasn’t the only American present; the event brought together many Pakistani-American youth and children who performed the traditional stick dance, while Shayyan Ahmad gave a speech emphasizing the importance of Pakistan Day. They were followed by the Bharatnatyam Dance Academy that performed two contrasting styles of dance.
To fire up the crowd, Pakistani-American Zaki Syed performed two rap songs about Pakistani pride, and being Muslim in America. He finished his performance with freestyle, impromptu raps that left the crowd awed and amazed.
During the break time, the Raging Grannies, a peace-based group in Bay Area, sang peace songs encouraging peace and protesting war. Sharon Kufeldt, a Raging Granny said she attended the event to broaden her connections into all communities since that is the only way to bring peace. Fellow Raging Granny, Shirley Lin Kinoshita agreed, and said that Pakistan is usually viewed in bad light, when in reality the Pakistanis are good-hearted people.
The main event was a performance by the 80’s Pakistani pop star Alamgir, who sang his hit songs “MaooN Ki Dua”, “Tum hi sai aai Mujahido”, “Yay Sham”, “Albela Rahi” and many others in which he sang about Pakistani pride and love. Alamgir said he was more than happy to help TCF in their goals of promoting awareness and education.
“They (TCF) are wonderful, they have a meaningful project,” said Alamgir. “I am glad I was able to perform… I feel as I have done a service to mankind.” Alamgir is also very committed to education, as he has moved to America so that his son could have better education.
Alamgir gave a passionate and enthusiastic performance, running, dancing, and singing on the stage. Children came up on stage, clapping, doing stick dances, and cheering for Alamgir. Adults were also moved and were seen whistling, clapping and applauding for their favorite pop star.
After Alamgir’s breathtaking performance, crowds of people flocked on stage asking for Alamgir’s autographs and cds. Some children even came back for second or third autographs. Alamgir treated all the fans with respect, talking to them, and signing various cds and paper, not turning down a single person! Alamgir even apologized to the Pakistan Link correspondent for making him wait, saying with a smile, “Sorry, but fans come first.” Fans do come first, and by treating his fans so well Alamgir demonstrated true Pakistani spirit!
Alamgir’s performance was made possible, through the effort and hard work of Farukh Shah Khan and his team. Khan had planned the event 36 days in advance and was working day and night to make it a reality. Khan was motivated by TCF’s vision of education, exposing youth to Pakistani culture, and an overall desire to help. Khan is the current producer for WBTV (World Business and Technology TV).
Khan and TCF are doing what Pakistan’s founders did when they passed the 1940 Resolution: working on a vision and a plan to make Pakistan a better place, and it is up to the rest of us Pakistanis to do the same!
On March 23, 1940 a plan was made, an outline and a map were drawn up. And that is how Pakistan came into existence. Today, we proudly say, “Jeeve Pakistan, Jeeve, Jeeve Pakistan.” We commemorate the Pakistan Resolution event at Minar-e- Pakistan. Yes, the beautiful Minar-e- Pakistan, in Lahore which stands like a lighthouse on a shore. Yet, to make it stronger we need to support education, TCF, and do more, much more!


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.