On Tuesday, September 14, 2021, AAFSW kicked off a new program season. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan hosted AAFSW members and guests and took us on a rich cultural exploration of the country. During the two-hour event, guests learned about the colorful and diverse culture of Pakistan through a documentary, stunning photographs, music and food. The event was held at the former Pakistani embassy on Massachusetts Ave, which now serves as a cultural center and reception hall.
The documentary showcased the diverse geography, historical landmarks, music, dance and cuisine of Pakistan. Equally interesting was the photography exhibition throughout the reception hall. The photographer captured Pakistani festivals like Holi, landmarks such as the Pakistan Monument in Islamabad, sporting events including the national sport of field hockey, and the pristine beauty of Pakistan’s natural environment including a snow leopard and natural rock formations named The Sphinx and Princess of Hope. The embassy could not narrow down the selection of photographs for the exhibition, so rotated the photographs during the event to share more.
Guests were treated to a musical performance of traditional instruments including the Banjira Sitar and the Table.
Following the documentary and musical performance, His Excellency, Ambassador Dr. Asad Majeed Khan provided welcoming remarks and noted the country and its people are inheritors of several ancient civilizations including Neolithic Mehrgahr and Indus Valley Civilization and diverse religions including Buddhism which dates back over 2000 years in Pakistan. Afterwards, guests were treated to a buffet of Pakistani cuisine, which included biryani, naan, kebabs, chicken tikka, saag and gulab jamun. The Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Naveed Safdar Bokhari said there are dozens of Pakistani restaurants in the DMV area if you’re interested in tasting some of these delicious dishes!
Diplomacy is more than bilateral relationships. It’s about building bridges and what better way to do so than immersing oneself in cultural events like this program. The embassy in Washington, DC, hopes to host more cultural events this year and next year to celebrate 75 years of Independence.