By Mudassir Raja
Ramadan is the month to show hospitality, generosity and affection for each other. One of the ways this spirit can be shown is through organising Iftar for large gatherings.
Pakistan Art Society – Qatar (PASQ) is a community welfare group of Pakistani expatriates. In continuation of its service for community and expressing the spirit of Ramadan, the society has regularly been hosting mass Iftar gatherings for the last four years.
PASQ recently organised an Iftar gathering for about 700 people at Pak Shamaa School. The Iftar was attended by prominent representatives of the Pakistani community and many workers who were specially invited from labour camps. Irfan Taj, Defence Attaché at the Embassy of Pakistan and Hafiz Junaid Sial, Community Welfare Attaché, were the most prominent officials among those who attended the gathering.
The volunteers of PASQ made sure that everyone was comfortable and got sufficient food. Adeel Akbar, General Secretary of PASQ welcomed all the guests. Abrar Hussain, President of PASQ, in his brief address highlighted the religious significance of Ramadan and Iftar.
Talking to Community, Irfan Taj said: “I am very happy to attend the mass gathering. It showed the strength and unity of the Pakistani expatriate community in Qatar. There were many people from other communities as well.
“The number of people who attended the Iftar showed the large-heartedness of the organisers. There were Pakistani expatriates from all walks of life. From a religious perspective, it is very beneficial to show benevolence and provide food to other people. I believe the PASQ will continue with its tradition of hosting mass Iftar gatherings.”
Tahir Dilawar Hussain, Vice President of PASQ, said: “We invite all the Pakistanis living in Qatar through social media platforms. We also invite workers from labour camps irrespective of their nationality or religion for the Iftar. It was our fourth mass Iftar gathering.
“It is Iftar for all. We had many buses that brought workers from the Industrial Area. The idea is to bring both white collar and blue collar workers together. We had many prominent Pakistani business persons and professionals sitting with workers at the same place and having the same food.
“Besides giving respect to our blue collar workers, we use this occasion to train our children. We encourage the Pakistani expatriates to come with their children. We ask the children to serve the food among the guests. It teaches the children how to be kind and generous towards others.”
Regarding their future plans, Tahir, who works in oil and gas sector, said: “Our desire and effort is to serve more and more people with Iftar. From next, year we plan to distribute Iftar boxes among the workers in the labour camps, besides our regular annual Iftar.”
Rana Nisar works in the banking sector and has been living in Qatar for a long time. He said: “I have been attending the Iftar gathering by PASQ. For me, it is a unique gathering where Pakistani expatriates from all walks of life converge. It is always good to have an Iftar together with friends.
“The gathering provides a good socialising and networking opportunity. There were hundreds of people gathered at one place. I met so many people who I had not been able to see for many years despite the fact that we have been living in Qatar. Further, Ramadan also encourages us to provide food for others and be generous. I wish to see many such gatherings in future.”
On behalf of PASQ, its chairman M A Shahid expressed his appreciation to the whole team of volunteers, their children, and Pak Shamaa School management for the successful mass Iftar gathering.
“By the grace of Allah, the mass community Iftar event had tremendous success. Of course, we could not have done it without all of your generosity and support.
“Furthermore, we want to extend a very special thanks to the Pakistan Embassy officials for their patronage and their presence, and Al Khayarin Group and Redco International for their staff participation.”
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