Pakistan Independence Day Celebrations in SF Bay Area
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
The Pakistani American community in San Francisco Bay Area celebrated the 70th anniversary of the independence day of Pakistan with great enthusiasm and fervor. The Santa Clara Country sponsored a flag-hoisting ceremony at the County headquarters in San Jose on Monday, August 14. Dave Cortese, President of the Board of Supervisors, performed the flag-raising ceremony.
Michelle Ahmed sang the Star Spangled banner while Punhal, Junnat, Seemal, Naiel were joined by the crowd in singing the Pakistani national anthem.
The Board of Supervisors of Santa Clara County issued a proclamation to mark Pakistan's Independence Day. The proclamation recognized Pakistani Americans' great contribution to the cultural, social and economic fabric of the Silicon Valley: they represent a culturally rich heritage and form a vibrant community in the Santa Clara County.
The proclamation pointed out that Pakistani Americans represent a broad sector of professionals in fields such as medicine, law, business, education, government, technology, social services, non-profits, and more. "Pakistani Americans have worked to improve community relations through the building of coalitions and alliances and the promotion of cultural understanding, and have played a significant role in immigration reform and other social justice concerns."
After Dave Cortese read the proclamation to the Pakistani Americans gathered at the Santa Clara County Hall, a colorful program was held by the American Muslim Voice (AMV).
Khalid Saeed, National President of AMV, thanked Pakistani Americans present on the occasion for celebrating the Pakistan Independence Day on a working day.
Areeba Yasin was the MC of the program which began with Dil Dil Pakistan sung by Rayan Chowdhry. Little Chaudhry drew wide applause for his poem about Pakistan. Umaima Yasin shared her experience as a Pakistani American.
The attendees appeared in a jubilant mood and many of them were attired in green shirts.
At the end, Samina Sundas, Founding Executive Director of the AMV, thanked the audience for their role in making the Independence Day celebrations successful.
California Assembly members Ash Kalra and Kansen Chu issued recognition certificates for American Muslim Voice for its services to the community.
Another major Pakistan Independence Day celebration was held on Sunday August 13 at the Chandni Restaurant banquet hall in Newark/Fremont. The event was sponsored jointly by seven Pakistani-American organizations.
Ms Muzna Syed was mainly responsible for bringing together the seven organizations: Aghan Khan Foundation, Behbud, Citizens Foundation, Human Development Foundation (HDF), Open Silicon Valley, Pak American Community Center, and the Urdu Academy of North America.
Children in green dress presented Pakistani national songs. Many people were donning green, the symbolic color of Pakistan.
Urdu News also organized an Independence Day event on August 11 at the Mehran Restaurant in Newark CA. The event was attended by a large community representation from the Bay Area.
The Pak American Community Center (PACC) also held a flag-hoisting ceremony at its headquarter in Milpitas, CA on Monday, August 14.