A Spirited Show by Pakistan Student Associations
By Shaista Khan
Picture by Faiz Ahmed
A “spectabuluos” (a Shaista combination of spectacular and fabulous), visionary feast! Nothing less could describe the extravagant show put on by the PSAs of Southern California that comprised of UCLA, UCR, UCI, USC and UCSD schools.
The event was held for the students and their families by the main sponsor Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA). COPAA president Adnan Khan, his charming wife Tehmnina and their sweet daughter Tanya, were accompanied by many members of the Board of Directors and their families.
The chief guest was Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas. Consul Ahsan Wagan and the wives of the two diplomats were also present on the occasion.
The event started with the presidents of the respective universities - Saad Ahmed(UCLA), Sher Ali Khan(UCR), Anum Sheik(UCR) and Vageha Khan((UCI) - giving opening welcome speeches. They were followed by beautifully sung national anthems in Urdu and English by Maryam Ansari. Maryam’s voice echoed proudly over the audience that was impressed at her fluency in both languages. Her representation of Pakistan and The United States was a great example of the outcome of the labored toils and sacrifices that many immigrant parents have made to educate their children by coming to the US.
These were then followed by motivational COPAA BOD speeches by Ismail Keekeebhai , a USC alumnus, and Shaista Khan (yours truly).The purpose was to deliver to the students a message to keep them motivated in their endeavors in life and to encourage nationalism for both countries they proudly belong to. Shaista went on to briefly touch upon the formation of a COPAA youth forum were COPAA will help create internships from mainstream organizations in the US, serving the purpose to encourage representation of students of Pakistan origin. COPAA is able to do this due to the vast network it has established over the last 10 years at all levels of governmental, industrial and commercial institutions. By being an “umbrella “for the youth and giving them some direction in their leadership capabilities, COPAA feels it can help channelize their journey.
The Consul General then delivered an admirable speech urging the students and their parents to focus on education, culture and to bravely face recurring challenges. He concluded by encouraging them to become good leaders. He also acknowledged and thanked COPAA for its support of the students.
The main show began with this year’s theme focusing on family. The title of the show was “TheMaliks: Aik Umrican Kahani, Hamara Joota Hai Armani.” The actors included Tabish Naz, Areej Rajput , Ayesha Ahmad, Ibrahim Hafeez, Eileen Shah, Ibtrahim Malik and Umair Khan.
The satirical comedy was received with much laughter but delivered a very clear positive message to the students about their culture .The skits were well written by Tabish Naz, Anum Sheik, Sana Ahmed, Zaira Masood, Kanza Shaheen, Ibrahim Hafeez, Raheel Imtiaz, Shareen Nizami and Umar Hussain. The skits were interspersed throughout the show with a variety of choreographed dances performed by all of the schools. At a glance, one saw the rapture of delight emanating from the faces of the audience. The USC Bovard Auditorium (an impressive one I must say), was virtually overflowing with a crowd of some 750 people.
During the intermission a famished crowd enjoyed a great biryani and kebab plate put together by Tariq Amin of Royal Kabob ( Hawthorne, CA).
The ceremony closed with an ensemble of performers, producers and writers on stage with representatives of all schools proudly holding flags and banners of the various alumni. “The PSA family” was applauded by many a proud parent, family member or friend sitting in the audience.
I wanted to end with GO BRUINS! (Because my own daughter is a UCLA alumna), but truly, the PSAs of all the schools outdid themselves. I can enthusiastically say that the Pakistani community looks forward to next year’s creation.