Council of Pakistan American Chamber of Commerce Raises the Bar for Community Events
By Haya Farooqui
Pictures by Faiz Ahmed, Atiya Khan, Aleena Ashary, Amin Haq and Khurram Shoro

Pictures above: Glimpses of the Grand Eid Gala organized by the Council of Pakistan American Chamber of Commerce

Eid is a festive and colorful occasion and it should be celebrated in a manner that behooves its essence. Keeping that in mind Council Of Pakistan American Chamber of Commerce organized an Eid-ul Fitr party reminiscent of the Sub- continent’s Mogul era while celebrating its twentieth anniversary. “Why did we choose the Mogul era as our theme for tonight? We chose it because the Mogul era epitomizes an age of Muslim excellence in trade, economics, art and culture.

We at CPACC would like to follow their module and generate innovative ideas to foster commerce and cultural activities between the peoples of Pakistan and the United States, “said Haya Farooqui, general secretary of CPACC, in her opening statement.

“CPACC is proud to take the lead in getting the community together and it was heartening to see all Pakistani-American organizations come together under one roof to celebrate Eid. In these ambiguous times. I urge all of you to be cohesive because we need the cohesion to have the Pakistani-American community recognized in a positive manner! And we, at CPACC, are proud to set the trend of working together with all organizations and are committed in our efforts to build a stronger, admirable Pakistani-American community!”exclaimed Jamal Khwaja, president CPACC.

The catering manger of Hyatt Regency Irvine disclosed to one of the board members of CPACC that their foyer had not been decorated so beautifully ever before. Tables covered with shimmering fuchsia and purple overlays, oriental rugs displayed on the royal thakht, candles flickering while sitar maestro Ustad Nizami, who enchanted the evening with his magic fingers teasing the strings of the sitar, reverberating melody that took us back into the royal court of Shah Jahan, where music, singing and dancing prevailed. Since the royal court is not complete without a jester CPACC invited Kashif, a renowned comedian, all the way from Pakistan to entertain the audience.

One indicator of the popularity of CPACC was that this event was sold out three weeks in advance  before the due date and people were still trying to get tickets till the last minute. CPACC believes in being multi-cultural and wanted to make sure that this event was not just limited to Pakistani-Americans only.

Some of the VIPs who attended this event were: Consul General of Pakistan Syed Ibn-e-Abbas and his wife Sadaf, Mayor of Irvine Mr. Sukhee Kang, Orange County Sheriff Ms. Sandra Hutchins, Mr. Dave Riley, Director of Health Care Agency County of Orange, Ms. Beth Krom who at present is running for congress from the 48 th district, and last but not the least, Mr. Todd Shea, CEO of Comprehensive Disaster Relief Services, CDRS. CPACC awarded some of the VIPs with Pakistani tradition shawls (ornate scarfs) as a token of appreciation for their support to the Pakistani-American community.

“CPACC created the event of the year last night at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. The occasion Eid -The fiesta theme Mughal Darbar. The evening was flawless beginning with the seating arrangement extremely well planned; the entertainment an eclectic mix of ghazals, Kathak and modern dance by professional performers - and they even had a desi DJ in the end to polish off the event. Food was scrumptious (you can’t go wrong with Persian, Arabic and Pakistani catered by Dara of Shahnawaz Restaurant) and last but not the least I have to mention the party décor which was sophisticated, elegant and punctilious with the theme - the attention to detail sets a new level in party planning - a new Star is born!” wrote Amin Haq as his status on Facebook.

Fatima Khan and Haya Farooqui emceed the show while making sure the program proceeded without any hiccups. Behind the scene technicalities were managed remarkably by Fazal Farooqui who meticulously maintained an even flow of five hundred people at the registration booth accompanied by Luis M and Rashid Mahmood.

CPACC is concerned about the current political and economic challenges faced by Pakistan and they want to avail this opportunity to send out a message to the people of Pakistan that they are not alone. “We think about them every single day and we are working very hard towards bringing a positive change for them. And while we cannot be there to hold their hands in these trying times we are working with the policy makers in the United States in helping bring peace and prosperity in the region,” said Haya Farooqui.

The show’s phenomenal success can be attributed to the presence of great friends and family and especially to the volunteers who worked tirelessly to create the ambiance of the Mughal darbar. CPACC wants to specifically thank Rukhsana Omar, Sadia Khan, Neelofar Faruqi, Samina Shah, Samira Saleh, Tehmina Jesrai, Atiya Khan, Fatima Khan, Yasmin Qasim, Farzana Naqvi, Fawzia Khawaja, Nelofer Mirza, Rubina Merchant, Farah of Kashish Boutique, Nasreen Godil and Sohail Khan. CPACC would also like to thank the sponsors (for prizes for the raffle and Mr. and Ms. Catwalk) Mr. and Mrs. Jamal Khawaja of JFK Realty, Mr. and Mrs. Mohtashim Shah of Best Western Hotel, Mr and Mrs. Waqar Khan of Safeer-e Pakistan, Ms. Farah of Kashish boutique, Ms. Kiran of Kiran Collection, Mr. and Mrs. Zohra Patail, Mr. and Mrs. Ahsan Majid, Mr. and Mrs. Dara of Shahnawaz Restaurant and Ms. Abida Almas of Nauratan Jewlers.

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Link’s Staff Reporter adds: Mr. Jamal Khawaja  addressed the gathering and explained the aims and objectives of the CPACC. Fatima Khan highlighted the activities and role of the Council. Mr. Waqar Ali Khan, Chairman CPACC, and Mr. Arif Mansuri, Co-Chair, along with the President presented   traditional Pakistani shawls as Eid gifts to all the dignitaries who had taken time to attend the dinner. The guests were breathless from the ambience and the decor exquisitely done by Ruksana Ibrahim. All the board members were in traditional Mughal attire and added an exclusive and traditional touch to the ambience.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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