APPNA and Pakistani Community Organize Candlelight Vigil for Orlando Victims
APPNA members together with members of Central Florida Pakistani Community organized a vigil on June 19th, 2016 at Eola Park, Orlando at 7:30 pm. A week earlier, 49 persons died in a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando by a lone gunman. Members of the expatriate Pakistani community wished to express their condolences and solidarity with the families of this tragedy.
Drs Nasar Qureshi (NJ), President APPNA 2016; Dr Sajid Chaudhry (FL) President elect APPNA... 2017; Dr Iqbal Zafar Hamid (FL) Secretary APPNA 2016; Dr Rubina Inayat (FL), Mrs Sheeba Hamid and Dr Shahid Yousuf (FL), among many others, were present.
APPNA distributed free bottled water, chicken wraps and fruits to the participants of this public vigil which held crowds numbering 50,000. T-shirts were also distributed free of cost to the members of the public. Many members of the public came forward and hugged members of APPNA. The mass gathering was also addressed by a Muslim Imam Mohammed Masri who informed the audience that the gunman did not represent Islam. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and District 4 Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan attended the vigil.
Volunteers from APA (Association of Pakistani Americans of Central Florida) helped in this community event. Drs Sajid Chaudhary and Rubina Inayat have been past presidents of APA.
Dr Nasar Qureshi, speaking on the occasion stated, "APPNA stands with the families of the 49 victims of this national tragedy. APPNA is against all forms of terrorism."
Funds are being raised for the families of the Orlando shooting by members of APPNA, he added. (Photos M. Shahid Yousuf)