Vivid Manifestations of Unity, Faith and Discipline
By Shaista Khan
Pictures by YKKB
The charged Pakistani-American community demonstrates its love for Pakistan
Los Angeles, CA: It would not be fair to compare the Pakistan Independence Day celebrations in Los Angeles on August 9 with the spectacular 2008 World Olympics inauguration in Beijing. But one could safely equate the enthusiasm of the patriotic and charged Pakistani-American crowd to the spectators of the Olympics.
On August 9, 2008 the Exposition Park Los Angeles was transformed into a wondrous venue of all sorts, with an estimated turnout of about 18,000 people enjoying every moment of the Independence Day celebrations. There was a rare show of unity, faith and discipline in the ranks of the Pakistani-American commu
A combination of the leadership of the organizing committee of United For Pakistan Independence Day (UFPID) and the generosity of the successful, local business owners made such an event possible.
Months of dedication, hard work and teamwork by the UFPID organizing committee were rewarded with a memorable event. The organizing committee comprised of a core group - Ismail Keekeebhai, Sameer Moosani, Yousuf Ebrahim Keekeebhai, and Zubair Rawda - and an additional supporting committee comprising of Majeed Shaikh, Hashir Malik and Mrs. Sofia Altaf.
The Consul General Los Angeles Syed Ibn Abbas had arrived a day earlier from Pakistan just in time to join his vice consul Ahsan Wagan. Other dignitaries also present on the occasion included Deputy Consul Japan Yoshinasa Tezuka and wife, Deputy Consul Turkey Batu Kesmen and wife, and Deputy Consul Bangladesh Mohommad Abu Zafar.
Guests of honor present included Sherriff Lee Baca and Bishop Edward Turner accompanied by his adorable wife. All guests were greeted with the warmth of the traditional Pakistani hospitality.
Speeches were delivered with passion and fervor by the Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas and Sheriff Lee Baca who narrated his recent trip to Pakistan to a captive audience. Grand sponsors Pervez Lodhie of Ledtronics, Hamid Malik of Amtrend Corporation, Najeeb Ghori of Netsol , Adnan Khan of 7-Eleven and Adil Khan of Icolor Printing also addressed the gathering. Parvei Lodhie suggested that everybody should wear green on the occasion of next year’s Independence Day.
Arif Mansuri, Qazi Asad, Sameer Moosani, Waqar Khan and Sameen Faruqui also addressed the gathering and Irfan Murtaza recited his poems.
Other grand sponsors included: Hamilton Brewart insurance Company; Bob Din of En Pointe Technologies; and Shoaib Khothawala of ITA group.
Letters of support were delivered by offices of Governor Schwarznegger, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, Sheriff Lee Baca and Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa
Mid -way of the celebrations an entourage comprising Consul General Ibn Abbas and his delightful wife Sadaf, accompanied by prominent business sponsors Hamid Malik of Amtrend Corporation and Pervaiz Lodhie of Ledtronics met with the local Pakistani community. The people were visibly delighted to meet with the Consul General and share their thoughts. As I accompanied them on this tour I could see the love of the local people for their Consul General.
Music being the most prominent feature of such events had a marked, enlivening influence on the proceedings. A Canadian group Josh sang their famous song “Mausam” and the evening concluded with a scintillating performance by none other than the national idol Abrar Ul Haq who sang passionately from his heart. His performance was spellbinding and the crowd of almost 18,000 was in a trance. His rhythm and beat motivated even the Bishop Edward Turner and his wife to dance on the stage with him, receiving much cheer and applause from the crowd in keeping with the spirit of the event.
UFPID Organizing Committee Core Group:
L-R: Yousuf Ibrahim Keekeebhai (YKKB),
Zubair Rawda, Ismail Keekeebhai and
In between a local band called Nasaal presented lively songs: both the visiting bands were highly complimented by the appreciative crowd.
A delightful fashion show was presented by volunteers from the youth, with fashion lines provided by Simas and Ayusha boutiques.
The PSA’s of the local Universities - UCLA, UCI, UCR USC and Cal State Fullerton - out did themselves in their team work, a special thanks is due to the organizing body: Ali Sher khan, Saad Ahmed, Mahera Altaf and Shazrae Mian
During the performances one could walk around and enjoy the Pakistani delights the local merchants had to offer, ranging from food, clothing, jewelry, religious items, financial services, to name a few.
Green and white balloons with Pakistan Link logo and flags fluttered in the air while the food vendors filled the air with aromatics to tempt the palate.
Colorfully clad children ran free while their parents’ jovially mixed with friends and family. Women chatted animatedly displaying the latest fashion lines whilse men bonded with sincerity.
A beautiful brochure of sponsors and advertisers was available for the public to thumb through.
The event ended with all taking the stage for a grand finale with Abrar who delivered a memorable speech emphasizing that it was a critical juncture for our country to unite.
The evening turned out to be highly successful. Many truly felt it was a magnanimous feast for the eyes and palate leaving a fuzzy warm feeling in the heart.
(For a complete list of sponsors and members of the UFPID please visit www.pakdayla.net )