PASF Independence Day Mela Draws Large Crowd
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Pakistan Association of San Francisco (PASF) Independence Day Mela, held at the Event Center of San Mateo, drew a large crowd.

The Independence Day Mela, held on August 18, featured live musical performances, Pakistani handicrafts, costumes and ethnic food.

A joyous spirit prevailed among the people who came from far and near to participate in the mela. Many were waving huge Pakistani flags while others sported tea shirts with an imprint of the national flag. Many were dressed in green colored costumes. An enthusiast had painted his car with the Pakistani flag.

The Independence Day celebrations began with a recitation from the Holy Qur’an. It was followed by the national anthem sung by the office bearers of the Pakistan Association and guest singers. The audience joined in singing the national anthem.

Singers Humaira Arshad, Ahmed Butt and Asad Weince amused the audience with their thrilling performances. Humaira Arshad was the main star at the Pakistani mela but she disappointed the organizers as well as the audience by showing up at the mela just one hour before the close of the event. She was scheduled to perform for about three hours but she performed for less than one hour.

Multi-lingual singer Asad Weince drew wide applause with his presentation of songs in Punjabi, Pashto and Urdu. Many in the audience were astonished to see Asad sing Pashto songs with such perfection.

PASF President Syed Nusrat thanked the audience for contributing to the success of the event. He was of the view that overseas Pakistanis could play an important role in the development of their native country.

Democrat Senator of California State, Dr. Leland. Y. Yee, also addressed the gathering. He extended his congratulations and best wishes on Pakistan's Independence Day. Senator Yee represents San Francisco and San Mateo County. He presented a certificate of appreciation to the PASF President Syed Nusrat for the valuable services provided by the oldest Pakistani community association in San Francisco Bay Area.

A quiz program on the history of Pakistan was another attraction of the lively Pakistani mela. Eban Hamdani, the MC of the event, conducted the quiz session.

Syed Nusrat particularly thanked the sponsors for supporting the colorful event.

The sponsors included: Human Development Foundation, Emirates Airlines, The City Travel, Avex Funding Realter, Ellahie & Farooqi Law Firm, Classic Shuttles, Cal Facilities Co, Rosco Electric, Chandni Restaurant, Mehran Restaurant and Aslam's Raso Restaurant.

Akhter Sheikh, Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob and many other individuals also supported the event.

Delicious Pakistani food was supplied by popular Mehran Restaurants of Fremont/Newark and Santa Clara.

It may be recalled that Pakistan Association of San Francisco Bay Area was formally established in 1992. Since then this organization has been actively celebrating various cultural events, especially Pakistan Independence Day, with great enthusiasm.

The PASF has ambitious plans to establish a community center for Pakistani-American and Asian-American communities to serve as a venue for social and cultural activities, weddings, and funeral and other community services.



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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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