Monday May 20, 2024

An entertaining end of season event

By Ishrat Hyatt
May 17, 2018

Islamabad: The Asian Study Group (ASG) held its closing program at the Serena Hotel and organised a fun evening that included joyful participation by those who attended and featured a performance by the Bakshi Brothers.

Extending a very warm welcome on behalf of the Asian Study Group President Parvin Malik said they were celebrating the end of a very successful year and highlighted the role the sub group coordinators had played in presenting a variety of successful programs.

“As you know, we are a voluntary organisation and are dependent on the generosity of the Islamabad community. On behalf of ASG a special thanks to CEO Serena hotel Aziz Boolani for his constant support and GM Michel Galopin for looking after us. We are also truly grateful to all the other institutions/organisations: the Marriot Hotel, Lok Virsa and others that have contributed towards tonight’s event, especially PTCL for tonight’s event and we hope to continue this collaboration in the future” she said. “And a special thank you to Austrian Ambassador, Dr. Brigitta Blaha, who has been the patron of the ASG for the past couple of years. She will be leaving in October and on behalf of the ASG executive I would like to express how grateful we are for her support and enthusiasm.”

Dr. Blaha said it had been a pleasure and a learning experience to be patron of the ASG because its programmes were diverse and allowed members like her to get to know the cultural and other aspects of the country. She urged those who were not members to join and then introduced Australian High Commissioner, Margaret Anderson as the new patron 2018-19.

Admitting that she had been a member of the ASG since her arrival in Pakistan; had participated in many programs along with her husband and enjoyed the ‘richness of the programmes and fellowship of members,’ the high commissioner said she was delighted to be the next patron and hoped she would live up to expectations and the example set by her predecessor. “I hope to participate fully in the group’s activities,” she said. “It is a very good platform to learn about Pakistan”

Following the official business, committee member Sajid Munir announced the winners of the photography competition which is a much looked forward event as ASG calendars are much in demand – they are specifically chosen to showcase Pakistan’s positive image. Three photographs are chosen for prizes - the first, second and third are selected through voting from ASG members. The rest are selected by a jury. 1st: Perveen Malik: A passion for peaches- Hunza; 2nd: Aftab Rana: Coastal Road on way to Gwadar 3rd: Haroon General: Attabad Lake, Hunza.

This was followed with a quiz of twelve questions on Pakistan prepared by Misbah Alam and included prizes from various restaurants/ handicraft shops/ books. The dress code was Punjabi but unfortunately not many people read that information so there were just a handful of guests dressed like Punjabis and of them the lucky three who won were a boy with a turban, a Bosnian lady with a pink heavily embroidered suit and the third with a more modern version!

During dinner door prizes were announced after which the Bakshi brothers performed for about an hour and left the audience asking for more! The Bakshi Brothers are a band of cousin-brothers, who decided to come together and produce a modern rendition of traditional folk merged with Qawwali. Aafi, Bilal, Shehryar and Yawar joined forces in 2012 and officially launched the band to instant praise by the audience.