Rep Ed Royce Inaugurates Community Hall in LA
By Danya Akbar
Pictures by Anwar Khawaja

Los Angeles, CA: Over 100 members and supporters of the Pakistani community attended the Inaugural of the Community Hall at the Consulate General of Pakistan, Los Angeles, on Saturday, February 21st, 2015. This is the first time in history, since the inception of the Consulate, that a multipurpose community hall has been created for the Pakistani-American community in Los Angeles and surrounding areas. The hall is available for community related events, such as business meetings, art exhibitions, film screenings, association meetings, receptions, community gatherings, etc. The facility, along with required seating arrangements, will be provided by the Consul General free of charge, subject to availability and prior coordination with the Consulate.
The inaugural event was the introduction of this new facility to the community. The event was co-hosted by COPAA, with Congressman Ed Royce honored as the chief guest.


What prompted this change at the Consulate has a lot to do with the vision of the new Consul General, Mr Hamid Asghar Khan. When asked about the motivation behind the creation of the community hall, Mr Khan remarked, “I felt it essential to provide the vibrant Pakistani Diaspora with an elegant, neutral platform that they can use to create synergy for
enhanced interactions, business opportunities and engagements. This hall is the second office for all Pakistanis on the west coast.” The hall is to be seen as an extension of the Pakistani- American community, and will make the Consulate a vibrant, cultural place for people to come
together.
The event began with Zohreen Adamjee, a Fox 5 San Diego reporter (and one of the only Pakistani-American TV reporters in California), introducing the event and welcoming guests.
Adnan Khan and Council Member Ali Sajjad Taj spoke about the event in succession, after which Mr Qamar Abbas Khokar and Mr Hamid Asghar Khan were both introduced as the new Head of Chancery and the new Consul General, respectively. After a few words from MK and
Congressman Ed Royce, a few noteworthy plaques were presented, with some special mentions:
1. Arif Mansuri to Congressman Ed Royce on behalf of Pakistan Link/Urdu Link, Safeer-e-
Pakistan, and Pakistani-American Chamber of Commerce.
2. Waqar Ali Khan to Consul General on behalf of Pakistan Link/ Urdu Link, Safeer-e-Pakistan, and Pakistani-American Chamber of Commerce.
3. Arshad Kazmi to Congressman Ed Royce: illuminated Declaration of Independence.
4. Zafar Abbas to Consul General: Portrait of Consul General.


Following this presentation, the ribbon was cut, officially inaugurating the new Chancery.
Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres were served in the visa hall. Community members' reactions were in line with the Consulate’s objectives of creating a space where connections will be forged
between members of the community. Shaheen Awan, a notable entrepreneur in the community, stated, “We were honored to be invited to this historical event. As members of the Pakistani
community we were lacking a platform where we could hold important meetings and events, and this community hall is a perfect place. Credit goes to the honorable CG Hamid Khan as this was his vision, and a great way of bringing the community closer.”
Hussain Rokerya, a long-standing community member and entrepreneur, notes that “in a very short time frame, the Consul General has accomplished what no other CG in Los Angeles has; he has created a center point for community activities and a place where the average
Pakistani-American can feel at home.”
The CG has already hosted two other noteworthy events at the Consulate during his time here:
the Vigil in honor of the victims of the Peshawar attacks, the Interfaith Consul, and now the Community Hall Inaugural. We hope to see more events in conjunction with the community in the near future.

 

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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