By Mudassir Raja
Pakistan National Day brought together all colours and local cultures of Pakistan together in Qatar, marked by performance traditions from the four provinces of the country to the cheers and admiration of the audience.
Entertainment World Village echoed with loud traditional Pakistani music and songs for three days as the expatriate community got together to celebrate the Pakistan National Day. The festivity named ‘Pakistan Day’ was organised by all major community groups under the umbrella of Pakistan Community Qatar.
The prominent community leaders among the organisers were namely, Idrees Anwar, Riyaz Ahmed Bakali, Janan Bangash, Rashid Rafique Butt, Abdul Qahar, Arshad Hussain, Shoaib Baloch, Furqan Paracha and Jamshaid Bajwa.
The three-day recent festival began on Thursday and ended yesterday. It was held at the site close to the beach where families were present in large numbers. The organisers had set up a huge stage and chairs for the audience. The performers were mainly from Qatar and a few were also invited from Pakistan to entertain the expatriate community with cultural dances, regional and national songs. There were also food stalls set up by 10 different Pakistani restaurants.
On the first day, different groups of students from three Pakistani schools and from Mesaieed Pakistani community started the festival with their dazzling performances. The four student groups represented the four provinces of their country namely, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh. The children clad in traditional dresses presented the regional and patriotic songs highlighting significance of the Pakistan National Day.
After the school-going children, local Qatar-based artistes highlighted lively colours of different regions in Pakistan through folklore dances and songs. The performances – especially Pashtu and Punjabi songs– rocked the audience as many young people started dancing in front of the stage. The heart thumping beats of dhol – a traditional drum – throbbed the hearts of the audience.
On the second day, different regional artistes invited from Pakistan performed on the stage and enthralled the gathering. The visiting artistes were mainly from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and their performances were enjoyed by the Pakistani Pashtun expatriates, who were present in the arena in large numbers. The families enjoyed the traditional food and pleasant evenings in the open area alongside the beach.
Syed Ahsan Raza Shah, Ambassador of Pakistan to Qatar, attended the event on both days. He appreciated the high spirits of the organsiers and the community shown in holding the festival like celebrations for the day. He assured the community of all possible support that the embassy can provide to the community and asked the gathering to always follow the rules and regulations in Qatar.
Talking to Community, Shahida Khan, a house wife who was present with her husband and children, said: “This is a very good opportunity for the families to socialise and network. It is all about the Pakistanis living in Qatar. We are enjoying the songs and dances. We also have a variety of authentic food.
“There are a lot of other places in Qatar where families can enjoy but this being a community gathering you get a chance to meet more and more compatriots. It is heartening to celebrate the National Day together. It is as if we are celebrating the day in Pakistan. I see the children playing around. There are different kinds of rides and swings in the entertainment city. The children are also enjoying the rides. We also enjoy the pleasant weather.”
Sajjad Ahmed, who works with Commercial Bank, said: “It is always fun to attend such kind of gatherings. The community organised a similar festival in February as well. This time I see more enthusiasm, may be it is because of the National Day celebrations. Sounds of the patriotic songs and folklore dances have made the event lively.
“It is very relaxing to come here on the weekend. It is a good leisure activity to be with your friends and enjoy food in the open air. I want the community leaders to make this event a permanent feature.”
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