A Grand Gala Opening of the Pakistani Food and Culture Festival in RiyadhBy Faiz Al-Najdi • Jun 15th, 2012 • Category: Misc • 2 Comments
Mr. Abdul Rehman Ali Al-Jeraisy – President Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industries – along with the Pakistani ambassador to Saudi Arabia – HE Muhammad Naeem Khan - inaugurated the week long Pakistani Grand Gala Food and Cultural Festival on Monday evening at Riyadh Palace Hotel in Riyadh – organized under the aegis of the Embassy of Pakistan and Pakistan Investors Forum-Riyadh.
Speaking on the occasion the Chief Guest Mr. Al-Jeraisy was of high praise for the Pakistani ambassador for hosting such a wonderful event and inviting him to the same. He said Pakistan was a brotherly country and Saudi Arabia would be more than happy to open the Saudi markets for the Pakistani food and other products. He added that Saudi Arabia was experiencing an unprecedented boom in all sectors of the economy. “It was the right and opportune time for Pakistan to have hosted such a grand Food Festival which would certainly help in promoting and opening markets for the Pakistani foods in Saudi Arabia”, he added. At the end he also commented that he and his compatriot Saudis were always happy to see the Pakistani products in the Saudi markets as such he welcomed this Food and Cultural Festival showcased by the embassy of Pakistan.
Earlier on welcoming the distinguished guests the ambassador of Pakistan HE Muhammad Naeem Khan informed that this Food and Culture Festival was only one of a series of events that the Embassy of Pakistan has hosted with a prime focus to showcase the Pakistani culture and heritage and to present the soft and a better image of Pakistan before the Saudis and other foreign nationals living and working in Saudi Arabia. He added that the event per se would introduce the rich-n-tasty Pakistani cuisines from the four provinces of Pakistan (Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan) Gilgit-Baltistan and from Azad and Jammu & Kashmir. He made a special mention about the Pakistani Chef - from a 5-Star Pakistani Hotel Chain – who has been especially flown in from Pakistan for the purpose – and who would be presenting the magical art of his cooking throughout this festival. At end he thanked the major sponsors of this event and said that without their help, assistance and cooperation this event would not have seen the lights of the day. Those mentioned were the Pakistan Investors Forum (PIF), Pakistan Culture Group (PCG), Pakistan Doctor’s Group (PDG), Institution of Engineers Pakistan (IEP), and Pakistan Writers Club-Riyadh – PWC.
Later on, HE the ambassador of Pakistan – Muhammad Naeem Khan – took the distinguished guests to a tour of various Pakistani food stalls – a total of six of them – and the large spread out 35 Buffet items of the Pakistani mouth-watering and lip-smacking culinary cuisines – the Pakistani delicacies from the four provinces including from Gilgit-Baltistan and the Azad Jammu & Kashmir. The guests were also entertained with the tastes of the Pakistani folk dance and music presented by the school boys and girls – all of thee coming via the courtesy of Pakistan International School-Nasiriyah ably commandeered & professionally managed by its Principal Prof. Nader Alam and teacher Ms. Ghousia Jassim.
The program was ably conducted by Mr. Khayam Akbar – Deputy Head of the Mission at the Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh – with his usual smiling demeanor – which was appreciated by all.
The venue of the event was tastefully decorated with the paintings, artworks, posters, banners, pictures, Ajraks, etc., from various parts of Pakistan which remained a center of attraction of all – throughout. Lots of hard work had gone from many hidden workers and volunteers to give the venue a grand festive look. The guests were visibly happy and enjoying all of these festive looks and the management of Riyadh Palace Hotel were also visibly seen to be very happy and excited as this was supposed to be the first event of its kind hosted at their venue.
This Food and Cultural festival shall continue with all its pomp and show onward until Friday 15 June. This is the last day of the event which shall see a more glamorous closing function with all its galore of rich food with live BBQ, music and dance, showcasing the rich culture of Pakistan from its length and breadth. On the last day – sometimes around 10 PM – there would also be a Raffle Draw of the counter-slips of the entry tickets and the lucky winners would be able to win expensive prizes like, iPhones, iPads, Blackberry, Large LED TV Sets, Refrigerators, Microwave Ovens, Umrah return tickets, PIA return tickets to Pakistan – and many more.
The opening ceremony was attended by about 350 people that included the select invites from the members of the Pakistani community in and around Riyadh, members of the diplomatic corps from 12 friendly countries that included Excellencies the ambassadors from India, Maldives, Myanmar, Thailand, New Zealand, South Africa, Gabon, Argentina, Sri Lanka, Japan and China – and above all many Saudis from the Saudi business houses, university professors and academics & professional. Many from other nationalities like Indians, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, and Filipinos – and from other Arab countries namely Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Sudan also attended and graced the occasion.
Faiz Al-Najdi is a Riyadh based professional engineer, writer and a social worker. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S: Photos for this report came via the courtesy of Sanobar Sani – Photo Journalist
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My actual name is Syed Faiz Ahmad and I use a pen-name (nom de plume) of Faiz Al-Najdi. I am basically a civil and structural engineer and write (in English) for passion only. I grew up in Karachi-Pakistan, accomplished bachelors degree in civil engineering from NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi and later obtained a masters degree in Structural Enginering from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok-Thailand. I am presently living & working in Riyadh-Saudi Arabia since April 1997. I work as Chief Structural Engineer for M/S Saudi Oger Ltd – a large construction contractor in Saudi Arabia. I write on current affairs and also on light reading for common readers on issues that appeal to me from time to time. I am inspired with Art Buchwald.
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