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November 26, 2018

A bright sunny day, music, and fun as Islamabad Eats

Islamabad

November 26, 2018

Islamabad : A bright sunny day, tranquil lawns of Jinnah Convention Centre, live music and freshly-cooked food by the best outlets and home-based caterers -- what else could one ask for on a Sunday. Thanks to Islamabad Eat Festival, organised by CKO Event Architecture, for this perfect weekend setting.

Thousands of people enjoyed great cuisine offered at the annual food exhibition. The event featured around 100 food stalls set up by prominent outlets, and newcomers who plan to start proper businesses in the days ahead. "We live in an entertainment-starved metropolis. The majority prefer to spend their weekend out

of the city. Such events give life to Islamabad," remarked Saba Rashid, a housewife who was having ‘gol gappy’ with her daughters.

The festival was not just fun but also extended an opportunity for new entrepreneurs to display their skills. "This is an amazing opportunity for home-based entrepreneurs like us," said Naheed Aly of food stall named Craze Eat. Naheed and her sister Shaista Zaheer have provided select catering service from home for several years. "This is the first time we have set up a stall in any food exhibition," Naheed said. Her stall offered specialties such as ‘parathas’, ‘lassi’ and some Mexican dishes. "Such platforms give new entrepreneurs the courage to pursue their dream of establishing their businesses," she said. Her advice to women home-based entrepreneurs was to first learn business management skills and then set up business in the mainstream. "Otherwise they will not be able to cope in a competitive market."

Organisers Aslam Khan and Omer Omari said that they have organised the food festival since 2014. “Initially we feared our idea might fail but it turned out to be a big success.” The two could see that people had stopped going to the parks, so they set out to provide them an attraction in the shape of this food festival. “Our idea clicked and we decided to continue.” Khan and Omari pointed out that many people had formally gone into the food business after making their debuts at the festival.

All in all the event provided a great outing for the people who turned up in large numbers to see, choose, and satisfy their hunger with sumptuous food. “I love fried chicken, so my dad brought me here. It is so tasty,” said 13-year-old Ayesha Ali. Her father Ali Afzal pointed out that the festival this year had some really great food stalls, and the music added to the fun. “I am glad my daughter persuaded me to come; now I know what I would have missed if I had stayed home.”

Haris Ahmed, a student said he decided to come here today, fed up after spending several lazy Sundays at home. “Usually my Sundays are plain boring, so this festival helped add some colour and fun.” Leading his family members, he said that it was also great to see such variety of food in one place. “But the downside is you cannot eat everything, and it is hard to decide what to eat.”

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