Third Annual Mehfil-e-Hyderabad in Mississauga

Mississauga, Canada: The 3rd Annual Mehfil-e-Hyderabad, cultural extravaganza and awards night organized by the Hyderabad Deccan Foundation of Canada (HDFC), was held at Versailles Banquet Hall in Mississauga on June 18th. The event has become the largest gathering of celebrating Hyderabadi culture in North America and attracts over 700 attendees from cities across Canada and the US. Catering to every taste and persuasions the event featured awards for high achieving Canadians and Americans of Hyderabadi origin, speeches on the culture and history of Hyderabad, a musical program, and a raffle draw for two tickets on Etihad Airways.

Mr. Bashir Beg, HDFC chairman, in his speech highlighted the multicultural character of Hyderabad and its relevance in today’s globalized world. ‘Founded more than 400 years ago on the banks of the Musi River our composite culture was ‘multicultural’ in the truest sense, even before the word was coined. Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, Christians, Jews, and people of many other ethnicities, castes, and creeds made Hyderabad their home and forever adopted its synthetic culture... It was a true representation of the multicultural Mosaic that everyone is aspiring to in a globalized world,’ he said.

Explaining the goals of HDFC Mr. Beg said that the organization has been formed to unite the Diaspora Hyderabadi community and promote and preserve its unique culture. In this regard HDFC is planning to build a Hyderabadi Community which will serve as a hub for the promotion of arts, literature, music, language, and the values of Hyderabad. Mr. Beg urged the large Hyderabadi community of Canada to become active members of the organization and further its cause.

Mr. Bob Dechert (Member of Parliament), was the chief guest at the function and stated that he was deeply impressed by the vitality of dynamism of the Canadian Hyderabadis. He praised their contributions to the Canadian society in diverse fields. He supported the idea of the Hyderabadi Community Center and offered his help towards its fruition.

Dr. Taqi Abedi (physician, poet, critic, and author of 35 books) in his speech in chaste Urdu, provided a historical overview of Hyderabad’s heritage and its contemporary relevance. Uncovering the aspects of the Hyderabadi dialect of Urdu he stated that it is a true amalgam of various cultures.

Mr. Goldy Hyder, a public relations expert and General Manager at Hill & Knowlton Canada, spoke on how his values have helped him in excelling and integrating in the mainstream. He advised the youth to be proud of their heritage while navigating their respective career paths. He asked them to value the importance of parents and grandparents as they are the pillars who bring stability and serenity in the society.

This year five awards were given to five outstanding Hyderabadis from Canada and the US:

1. Goldy Hyder (Ottawa), Political & Public Affairs

2. Asif Saeed (Chicago), Business Entrepreneurship

3. Hasan Chishti (Chicago), Urdu Literature

4. Dr. Shehla Burney (Kingston), English Literature

5. Quader Bin Sayeed (Toronto), Mountaineering

An exquisite fashion show was also staged with bridal and party dresses conducted by Dream Couture fashion studios.

The musical program was conducted by HDFC director Rafat Alam whose crooning enthralled the audience. Other performers included Geeta, Chandrima, Tahira, Rahmat Khan, Asad Siddiqui, and Kaiser Bhai. A richly illustrated souvenir, compiled by Fazal Siddiqui and Sardar Ali, featuring top quality articles was also unveiled at the event.

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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