Chicago IL, August 30, 2017:Another historic Taste of Pakistan in Bolingbrook took place on Saturday, August 26, 2017. Thousands flock to this city each year to witness one of the most well organized and well attended Pakistan Day celebrations in the USA. This year was not different as the host organization the Association of Pakistani Americans of Bolingbrook (APA) yet gained another feather in their cap.
The event was hosted at the Bolingbrook performing arts center at 375 W. Briarcliff Rd. behind Village Hall. This year the celebrities invited to perform was no other that the renowned entertainer from Pakistan Bushra Ansari and upcoming famous young singer Asim Azhar from Coke Studio. Thousands of attendees packed the complex filled with food, entertainment, and music. The event was sponsored by Dr. Nadim Longi and Dr. Moazzam Saeed of Advanced Pediatric Care.
Bolingbrook has a diverse population and has consistently ranked among the best places to live in America by Money Magazine. Among the honored guests Mayor of Bolingbrook Roger. C. Claar and Consul General of Pakistan Hon. Faisal N. Tirmizi had nothing but praise for the event and the city which has recently become a sister city to Sialkot Pakistan. Also in attendance were representatives from DuPage Township, Village Trustees, Library Trustees, Judge Ben Braun, State Representative Natalie Manley, State Senator Pat McGuire, and Governor Rauner had sent a video and proclamation through Thomas Choi, Will County Board members, Bolingbrook Park District, State Rep Dave Olsen and others.
The official flag hoisting was conducted as the APA celebrated 26 years of raising the Pakistani flag at Village hall. The ceremony was conducted by Mayor Claar and Consul General Tirmizi. Founder of the APA Mr. Talat Rashid was honored with the proclamation from the Governor and received much praise from the guests for the vision and accomplishments of the APA. The Master of Ceremonies was no other than Mir Ali, who continues to grow in his role of leading the future of the community and has done explicit work for the community. Both Mr. Rashid and Mr. Ali were appointed to the Police and Fire and Plan Commission boards, respectively.
The Taste of Pakistan’s success has always been due to the hard work of its members and the unparalleled level of its sponsors. Grand Sponsors were no other than Advanced Pediatric Care and the show was powered by Porto’s Peri Peri Chicken, a growing franchise in Chicago land. Other sponsors included JF Labs President Mr. Ali Akhtar, RNA Corp. CEO Mr. Munir Chaudhry, AMITA Bolingbrook Hospital, DuPage Township Supervisor Bill Mayer, Dr. Hasnain Syed, and Dr. Aftab Khan who was also recognized as the new President for PPS. Dr. Sameer Shafi, Two River Dental, Mr. Sohail Shafi, IFANCA, Dr. Wasi Ullah of East West University and many others.
The event was entertaining at many fronts. Entertainment for kids included face painting, jumpy houses, air plane rides and arts and crafts activities. All types of food were being served at the food booths consisting of Bismillah Restaurant, Azaadi Grill, El Alambron, AWS catering, Pick & Move and Portos Peri Peri chicken.
The clothing and jewelry bazaar was filled with deals for the Eid celebration and business owners had their booths set up to get the maximum exposure. The APA has done a fine job in maintaining the quality and providing businesses a great platform to get exposure through their digital screen advertising and this year the entire event was broadcasted live achieving over 200k viewership.
The entertainment began about 8 pm as DJ Kazi entertained the crowd all day with his music. Inspire Multibrand from Devon Avenue produced another glorifying fashion show which brought out the best bridal and formal wear. The APA offered many great raffle prizes including the grand prize of a round trip ticket by MI travel a lap top from Jamil Khan and many other supporters.
The highlight of the evening were the two entertainers as Asim Azhar opened the show and won the hearts of thousands of attendees lighting up the entire place with lights to his famous song from Coke Studio, Tera who Piyar. The crowd was anxious to see Bushra Ansari, as when she took the stage she had the entire crowd on their feet. She was simply magical with her voice and entertained the crowd as expected.
Before the event ended all the APA volunteers were brought on stage and recognized. The volunteers included Hamid Bhatti, Rizwan Asghar, Zulfi Ahmed, Aziz Vayani, Kamran Rashid, Aziz Chaudhry and Ali Zaman.
The event was a huge success at every level. The APA has done it again and has proven to America that they truly bring out the best in the Pakistani American community and are leaders in educating America on all the positive contributions Pakistani Americans continue to make towards its success.
The 2018 Taste of Pakistan will take place in August 2018 and further information will be available on www.apabolingbrook.com
Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:
I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”
Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.
Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”
Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?