PCCA hosts an in­spi­ra­tional evening with.

The Miracle - - Front Page -

Au­gust 14, the in­de­pen­dence day of Pak­istan, brings back fond mem­o­ries for many Pak­istani Cana­di­ans who have wit­nessed the cel­e­bra­tions in Pak­istan. The day sparks pa­tri­o­tism in many and pro­vides in­spi­ra­tion for a bet­ter to­mor­row. Keep­ing with the tra­di­tions of Pak­istan, Pak­istani Cana­dian Cul­tural As­so­ci­a­tion’s women wing ar­ranged a unique and in­spi­ra­tional evening with Pak­istani Cana­dian Sen­a­tor Salma At­taullah­jan to mark the oc­ca­sion. It was an in­ti­mate gath­er­ing of women and young girls who had the op­por­tu­nity to learn about Sen­a­tor Ataullah­jan’s ex­pe­ri­ences and ask her ques­tions. Guests were wel­comed by co-hosts Saima Naz and Arooj Qaiser who con­ducted the en­tire pro­gram beau­ti­fully. The pro­gram be­gan with singing of Cana­dian na­tional an­them led by Aliyah Kazmi fol­lowed by the Pak­istani na­tional an­them. An in­spir­ing slideshow high­light­ing Pak­istan was then showed on the screens while two young fe­male singers, Sy­er­ish and Maleeha. pre­sented na­tional songs. These pre­sen­ta­tions were fol­lowed by a can­did in­ter­view of Sen­a­tor Ataullah­jan by Saima Naz. Ataullah­jan bared her soul when re­spond­ing to ques­tions about her per­sonal life and her ex­pe­ri­ence in Cana­dian Pol­i­tics. She spoke can­didly about the chal­lenges of rais­ing chil­dren in Canada and keep­ing them in touch with their Pak­istani roots. She also urged ev­ery­one to be po­lit­i­cally ac­tive and make an in­formed de­ci­sion about which po­lit­i­cal party to sup­port. She em­pha­sized that women should be sup­port­ing each other and hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions in­ter­nally about is­sues that af­fect them as they raise a col­lec­tive voice. She fielded var­i­ous ques­tions from the au­di­ence and dis­cussed is­sues such as dis­crim­i­na­tion against women, con­flict be­tween per­sonal val­ues and party poli­cies, and work­ing cul­ture for women in Pak­istan. Fi­nally, Ataullah­jan thanked ev­ery­one for their sup­port and urged them to con­tact her about their is­sues. Fol­low­ing the in­ter­view, young girls rep­re­sented the di­verse cul­ture of Pak­istan in var­i­ous cul­tural dresses. They also walked around the hall with a huge Pak­istani flag sym­bol­iz­ing the fa­mous na­tional song “Iss Par­cham k Saye Talay Hum Ek Hain (Un­der this flag we are one). Philipa Dutt, the reign­ing Miss Fraser Val­ley and a proud Pak­istani Cana­dian then took the stage and high­lighted women’s progress in Pak­istan over the past 70 years. At the end, fe­male di­rec­tors and Sen­a­tor Ataullah­jan were joined by Mani Deol-Fal­lon, ac­tive mem­ber of Con­ser­va­tive Party, Pres­i­dent and Vice Pres­i­dents of PCCA in a cake cut­ting cer­e­mony. For the rest of the evening, Ataullah­jan min­gled with the guests hav­ing in­for­mal con­ver­sa­tions and pos­ing for pic­tures. It was a night about fe­male em­pow­er­ment and Sena- tor Ataullah­jan’s words of­fered in­spi­ra­tion. Hats off to Saima Naz, Syeda Bukhari (PCCA - Women’s wing Pres­i­dent), and the rest of the team for or­ga­niz­ing this mo­ti­vat­ing event. As I walked out of the event, I re­mem­bered the quote from Quaid-eAzam Muham­mad Ali Jin­nah, founder of Pak­istan: “No na­tion can rise to the height of glory un­less your women are side by side with you.” In­deed, the com­mu­nity can ac­com­plish amaz­ing feats if we work to­gether and sup­port each other.

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