By Mudassir Raja
The glimmer of afternoon sunshine and subsequent mass-migrations to Entertainment World Village (EWV) can only mean one thing: festival season.
Pakistan Business Forum led by prominent business men and community leaders, including Mohammad Idrees Anwar, Rashid Rafeeq Butt and Chaudhry Ajmal, recently organised a week-long Pakistani cultural festival at Entertainment World Village. The festival featured Pakistan-made products and traditional food delicacies for the visitors. The event was swarmed with locals and expatriates alike.
A special area ‘Pakistan Pavilion’ was designated for products showcasing Pakistani cultural heritage, including handicrafts, apparels, jewellery and hand-made foot wears. The all-pervasive aroma of traditional Pakistani delicacies took over the village’s beach side. The sheer diversity of Pakistani delicacies were offered by various restaurants, including Al Habeeb Pakistani Restaurant and Bakers, Punjab Restaurant, Salt N Peppers, Gourmet, Daawa, Shezan and Soghat.
Talking about the festival, Idrees Anwar said. “The aim of this week-long festival was to organise some healthy outdoor activities for the people of Qatar in general and the Pakistani community in particular. We had to take advantage of this beautiful weather and well established venue. Moreover, it aimed to promote Pakistani culture, products and cuisines.
“There were four dimensions of the cultural week including; exhibition and sale of Pakistani traditional dresses, handicrafts and accessories, presentation and sale of delicious authentic Pakistani delicacies, stage performances by the students of various schools highlighting traditional culture, music and dance, and interactive fun games for families and kids. The event also featured Pakistani music and local singers.”
Traditional Pakistani drummers and musicians also entertained the visitors with their rhythmic upbeat tunes and pipe flute music.
Anwar Ali Rana, Chairman of Sohni Dharti Qatar, a Pakistani community organisation in Al Khor, said, “The Pakistani community appreciates and recognises the support of Shaikh Khalid al-Thani in making this event successful. Hafiz Junaid Sial, Community Attaché at the Embassy of Pakistan, along with some other prominent Pakistani community figures attended the opening ceremony of the event. On the opening day, a cake cutting ceremony was held here to celebrate Qatar’s victory in 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Children from Sohni Dharti, Umm Said Pak Community, Pak Shamaa School, and The Next Generation International School performed different national songs and dances at the event. The other musical performances were offered by Punjab Music Group, Javaid and Jamshaid S Bajwa, and Local Talented Artista. Further, fun games for families included kids fancy dress show, singing contest, and charades contest.”
He added, “It was a festival where many different activities were available to keep the families entertained and to spend a quality time. It actually brought the Pakistani community together. We hope to continue receiving the support from Qatar government in organising similar events.”
Sajjad Ahmed, who works in the banking sector, said, “It was a fantastic event. A perfect family night-out place. I saw women and children enjoying the open air dinning and shopping. It’s a safe place for kids to run around and have fun. Lots of rides and swings at the festival are a great add-on. I got the chance to meet many of my compatriots who works in different fields in Qatar.”
Bushra Eeman, who visited the area with her family, said: “It was a wonderful event, especially for women and children. The weather in Doha is very pleasant and perfect for outdoor activities these days. We got a chance to have some authentic Pakistani products and cuisine at one place. There were many things that caught the interest of visiting women. I saw different dresses and jewellery brought all the way from Pakistan. I would like to attend more such events where our community gets together, mingle with each other and it feels like home.”
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