Islamabad: The Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) held its annual charity bazar, at the premises of Foreign Affairs Ministry foreign office lawn on Sunday, bringing together a vast mix of cultural diversity from different countries.
First Lady, Samina Alvi inaugurated the charity bazar where stalls showcased traditional artifacts of countries including Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, Japan, Central Asian states, Malaysia, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Begum Alvi in her address said it was heartening that the charity bazar was presenting a bouquet of culture, art and cuisine with an essence of harmony and affinity among different nations.
Embassy of Saudi Arabia on the occasion made special arrangements to take part in the annual charity bazar with traditional Dates and Gahwa (Arabian Coffee). Gahwa is a cultural favorite in Gulf countries, especially in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi stall was empowered with different kinds of dates and Gahwa for the visitors. The foreign minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qureshi especially visited the Saudi stall where head of Saudi media section Naif Tammi introduced the dignitary about the dates and Gahwa. Shah Mahmood Qureshi took keen interest in Saudi stall and appreciated the effort of embassy in introducing the traditional Saudi foods.
She lauded Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the diplomatic community in Islamabad to team up for a noble cause of philanthropy. She also shared her philanthropic work including providing education to street children, women empowerment, distribution of ration and clean drinking water to underprivileged Muslims and minorities, and arranging cataract surgeries. She added that the PFOWA charity Bazaar was a good opportunity for diplomats from different countries to learn about each other’s cultures.
Flanked by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, the First Lady also visited different stalls set up at the bazaar. Chinese Deputy Head of Mission Lijian Zhao donated Rs one million to PFOWA on behalf on the embassy of China. Earlier, President PFOWA Anila Hassan in her welcome address said the theme of bazar ‘Celebration of diversity’ was apt at times when the world was facing the issues of tolerance and discrimination on the basis of race, color, caste and creed.
Apart from Saudi Arabia’s stall foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and first lady Mrs. Samina Alvi also visited the Azerbaijan Embassy’s stall and greeted Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Pakistan Mr. Ali Alizadha.
Patron PFOWA Mehreen Qureshi said the Association was adhering to its mission of philanthropy since 1947 to reach out to low-income families in diplomatic corps. A ‘Parade of nations’ was held where children of diplomatic staffers, donning cultural dresses of their respective countries, presented tableaus and waved their respective national flags The PFOWA bazaar also provided the visitors an opportunity to indulge their taste buds into dining experience of a variety of cuisines from different countries.