In­dian ex­pats con­vey a sweet mes­sage


JED­DAH: The In­dian com­mu­nity held a ma­jor mango fes­ti­val here to high­light one of the most well-known and pop­u­lar ex­ports of the coun­try.

Or­ga­nized by the In­dia Fo­rum un­der the pa­tron­age of the coun­try’s con­sulate, the event put on dis­play more than 31 va­ri­eties.

Ai­jaz Ahmed Khan, pres­i­dent, In­dia Fo­rum-Jed­dah, said it has been a col­lec­tive ef­fort to “of­fer a sweet tra­di­tional taste of In­dia to our fel­low In­di­ans here. Peo­ple are truly im­pressed with the pre­sen­ta­tion and the or­ga­ni­za­tion of the var­i­ous mango va­ri­eties. The mango fes­ti­val is an ex­cel­lent ex­pe­ri­ence. Such pro­grams should take place more of­ten to pro­mote our cul­ture and tra­di­tions.”

The event also in­cluded the dis­play of var­i­ous In­dian dishes, a chil­dren’s fancy dress com­pe­ti­tion with a mango theme, and man­gopeel­ing and cook­ing con­tests. There was a mango quiz with 20 stu­dents, with judges in­clud­ing Sha­keela Shahid Alam, Kul­sum Kid­wai, Sam­reen and Im­ran Kausar.

Jaber Pa­tel, founder of In­doArab Friend­ship Foun­da­tion and a lead­ing mango ex­porter, ar­ranged the man­goes. His fa­ther Sabir Pa­tel was known as the “King of Man­goes” in In­dia. Pa­tel said he would bring 300 va­ri­eties to the fes­ti­val next year.

Mo­hammed Shahid Alam, act­ing con­sul gen­eral and also In­dia Fo­rum di­rec­tor, was the key guest.

Eight stalls with dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of man­goes and two coupon coun­ters were or­ga­nized, which in­cluded sev­eral fo­rum mem­bers.

Among those who at­tended the event in­cluded Ay­oob Ha­keem, gen­eral sec­re­tary; Mo­hammed Hy­der, pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor; Mo­hammed Aziz Kid­wai; Khaliq Shaikh and his wife; Omi Notani; Si­raj Mo­hi­ud­din, S.P Singh, Wasim Mukadam, Mohsin Sharif, Ash­faq, Akeel Kader Khan, Mirza Qu­drath Nawaz, Asimud­din An­sari and Os­man.

Among the high-pro­file guests were Padma Shri Badrul Is­lam, ad­viser to the Ut­tar Pradesh gov­ern­ment. Also present were Anand Ku­mar, con­sul con­sular sec­tion; Mohd Nu­rul Hasan, con­sul com­mer­cial; and Dr. Ir­shad Ah­mad, con­sul (press, in­for­ma­tion and cul­ture).

Badu­ral Is­lam de­liv­ered a short speech about the event, fol­lowed by fo­rum mem­ber Zakariya Bi­ladi in­tro­duc­ing the In­dia Fo­rum Jed­dah Mango Fes­ti­val Com­mit­tee and thank­ing all those who were in­volved.

NOVEL IDEA: Indo-Arab Friend­ship Foun­da­tion founder Jaber Pa­tel, 2nd right, was fe­lic­i­tated in the pres­ence of Act­ing Con­sul Gen­eral Mo­hammed Shahid Alam, 2nd left, and In­dia Fo­rum Pres­i­dent Ai­jaz Ahmed Khan, left, dur­ing the Mango Fes­ti­val in Jed­dah....

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