Food, Fashion and Music at Eid Celebration in Silicon Valley
By Riaz Haq

It was food for the body and soul and feast for the eyes at a Silicon Valley Pakistani-American event called 'The Stage is All Yours.' Dozens of Pakistanis took to the stage to show off their talents at this open mic function inspired by Waldo Emerson's quote: "Every artist was first an amateur". There were aspiring singers, musicians, poets, comedians, fashion designers and models, all brought together by the event organizer Dr Yasmeen Haq on August 3, 2014.

Food: There were traditional Eid deserts like firni, gulab jaman and other desi sweets to savor. The menu also included halwa puri, chaat, chicken tikka, biryani, nihari, paya and nan. It was a real feast reminding participants of the taste of Pakistan in Silicon Valley.

Fashion Show: Dozens of beautiful Pakistani-American models took the runway to show off fashion designer Aateka Sultana's women dresses and accessories for about 40 minutes. It was accompanied by popular tunes from Pakistan and India adding to the experience. It was music to the ears and feast for the eyes of the attendees.

Music: About a dozen karaoke singers, poets, comedians and speakers presented their favorite songs and other items to keep the attendees entertained the audience throughout the event. Their choices varied from sufi music and poetry to popular Lollywood, Bollywood and Hollywood hits. Some of the popular Pakistani hits presented at the event were: Alif Allah , Allah hi Allah kia karo , Bina Mahi, Akele na jana , and Dama dam mast qalandar .

Poetry: Riaz Haq talked about Urdu poets' fixation with alcohol as expressed in their work. He read out interesting lines from Akbar Ilahabadi, Mirza Ghalib, Allama Iqbal and Ahmad Faraz on alcohol, including both approving and disapproving expressions. Here are a few lines:

Akbar Ilahabadi: Hungama hai kiyon barpa thodi si jo pee lee hai/ Daka to nahin dala chori to nahi ki hai

Mirza Ghalib: Zahid sharab peene de masjid mein beth kar/Yah aisi jaga bata jahaan khuda nahin

Allama Iqbal: Masjid khuda ka ghar hai peene ki jaga nahin/ Kafir ke dil mein jahan wahan khuda nahin

Ahmad Faraz: Kafir ke dil se aya hoon yeh dekh kar/ Khuda majood hai wahan per use pata nahin

Video link for Riaz Haq's presentation:

Mobeen Khalil presented his poem on the current crisis facing Pakistan. Here's a sample:
Ay meri qaum tujhay hua kia hai/ aakhir is behisi ki wajah kia hai

Tum to soyai aur zamir bhi soya/ Baqi ab sharm o haya kia hai

Kheltay kyon ho aghiar ke hathon mei/sonay chandi ka aisa bhi nasha kia hai

Mulk hai to hum hai aur pehchan bhi hai/ Phir yeh khoon kharabay ki wajah kia hai

Watan se door hum be watno sai poochho/ Yeh sabz hilali parcham ka saya kia hai

Poochhti hai yeh watan ki matti humsay/ Izzat e madar bhi koi bechta kia hai

Dha rahey kiyon apanay hi hathon apnay ghar ko/ Sochte reh jao gay paya kia tha khoya kia hay

Ay meri qaum tyjhay hua kia hai

Video link for Mobeen Khalil's prsentation:

Summary: The Stage is All Yours is a unique platform helping Silicon Valley Pakistani-Americans groom their talents and stay connected with their culture and heritage. It served this purpose well with the Eid celebration organized on August 3, 2014 in Silicon Valley.

Here are a few video clips of the event:

Riaz Haq on Akbar Ghalib Iqbal and Farazby riaz-haq

Fashion Show by Aateka at The Stage is All Yoursby riaz-haq

Sara Shaikh Singing A Thousand Milesby riaz-haq

Dr. Naureen Khan Singing Allah Hi Allah at riaz-haq

Amber Haq Dixon Singing Alif Allah at The riaz-haq




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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