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....