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COVID-19 compels Germans to go on-line for ‘Unity Day’ celebrations

October 03, 2021

Islamabad : Second year running the German Embassy in Islamabad and the German Consulate in Karachi have decided to celebrate the historic ‘Unity Day’ ‘on-line’ instead of hosting the guests at the Embassy’s sprawling, undulating and beautifully manicured lawns and terraces.

The on-line celebrations on ‘Facebook’ and ‘Youtube’ channel of the embassy will start at 6:30 pm today (Sunday).

Disappointment for many but a clear reflection as to how those in the German Embassy and the Consulate care for people against the COVID pandemic because confining such historic celebrations and festivities to mark the occasion are indeed emotionally strenuous.

This year the celebrations were two-fold as Germany is not only celebrating 31st anniversary of German reunification but also the 70th anniversary of cordial diplomatic ties with Pakistan.

“Germany firmly believes in further deepening its bilateral ties with Pakistan in all fields. We are looking forward to working and further contributing to that goal during our time in Pakistan,” said a statement released by Germany Embassy in Islamabad.

“Naturally, we regret that we cannot celebrate in person with all our friends and partners here in Islamabad. However, we are making the best of it by offering everyone a glimpse into what we at the German missions are up to on a day-to-day basis. Do join us - there will be some great music, too!” said Bernhard Schlagheck, the German Ambassador to Pakistan in the statement.

Meanwhile, Holger Ziegeler, the German Consul General in Karachi was all praise for the people of Sindh for the warmth and hospitality they have extended to him and his family since his posting in provincial capital a year ago.

“We wanted to give something back by hosting this virtual event where we showcase some of the many fields where Germany and Pakistan work together to amazing effect.” Mr Ziegeler, the German Consul General in Karachi said.

The programme of digital event released by the Germany Embassy in Islamabad include start of the event with Pakistani national anthem played by Ustad Ashraf Sharif & friends, a fusion music group based in Germany followed by German national anthem played by young ‘tabla’ virtuosos Riyan and Isaac.

After the national anthems of the two countries the German Ambassador to Pakistan Bernhard Schlagheck, German Consul General in Karachi Holger Ziegeler, and Head of Economic Cooperation and Youth Ambassador Marion Pfennigs will appear and talk about their life and work in Pakistan. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Heiko Maas, will also address briefly as part of the digital celebrations to mark the ‘Unity Day’ and 70th anniversary of Pak-German diplomatic relations.

The ‘Village Food’ sensation, Mubashir Siddique, will try out some German recipes with the embassy’s Head of Commerce Christian Böttcher. Immediately after Dr. Chris Schmotzer, Director of the Rawalpindi Leprocy Hospital, will speak about her journey of more than 30 decades in which she has dedicated herself to the treatment of leprosy, tuberculosis and skin diseases in Pakistan.

The celebrations will conclude with a classical music piece: The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra will play Edward Elgar’s Variation IX, "Nimrod", conducted by Daniel Barenboim, the Germany embassy press release said.

The celebrations will go online on Sunday, 3 October 2021 at 6:30 pm on the Embassy’s Facebook page and YouTube channel and everyone is cordially invited to join the event on: www.facebook.com/GermanEmbassyIslamabad or www.youtube.com/GermanyinPAK.

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