Patriotic Fervor of Pakistan's independence Parade on Devon avenue
Chicago IL: Pakistan’s official Independence Day was Sunday August 14 however Chicago’s Pakistani parade committee decided to postpone the celebration until Saturday, Aug 25th 2012 due to Ramadan. They would celebrate their 65 years of independence from British rule by having their 24th annual Parade and Taste of Pakistan festival. The parade stepped off from Devon and Damen Saturday 12:30 noon, and the festival continued until 7:30 p.m. at Warren Park.
The Parade was organized Pakistan United Parade Committee, Greater Chicago. Pakistan’s independence Parade attracted over considerable number of people on Devon Avenue. The weather was sunny and hot (90 degree farenhight). It turned out to be a beautiful parade after all.
The parade began at 12:30 noon and ended at 2:00 PM. The event all together was a fun filled family day. The streets of Devon were flooded with families screaming in pride “Pakistan Zindabad!” and “Happy Independence Day!”. Men, women, and children all were dressed for the occasion. Women wore their beautiful and colorful traditional dresses. The men wore their traditional white outfits with a green shawl. The Pakistani flag was waved in joy by many. Tattoos and face paint of green and white were amongst the few gestures of celebration.
Among the first line of people to walk in the parade were Grand Marshall Akhter Ali (Business Leader and community activist, Chief guest Congresswoman 9th dist Jan Schakowsky, Guest of Honor: IL Sec. of State Jesse White, Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, Appelete Court Judge Jesse Reyes, First elected Pakistani American Judge Pamela Leeming, First elected Arab American Judge Bill Haddad, MWRD Commissioners: Frank Avila, Mariyana Spropolous, Chicago Park dist Comm Rouhy Shalabi, City of Chg Human Relations Comm Mona Noreaga, Parade Chairman Raja Yaqub, V. Chairman Dr. Arshad Mirza, Dr Wasiullah Khan, Salman Aftab, Hameedullah Khan (5 times Chairman), Ali Bakhtairi and Yasin Chohan
20 extraordinary floats rolled down the streets of Devon Ave while many dances were performed by the children.
The front panel walked on Devon avenue from Damen to Claremont street, where the stage was designed. The prominent leaders and politicians came on stage. Program on stage began with Prayer, The American national anthem and then the Pakistan national anthem. After the national anthems ceremony the floats were slowly moving by stage to gave their best performance. During this moment is where the crowd cheered the loudest and the politicians and leaders all saluted. The floats presented were Nayab Mart, ATM Card & Jamba Juice, Tahoora Sweet Bakery, Sabri Nihari, First Choice Carpet, East West University, Blue Ribbon Taxi, Star Autos, Central Bank, Money Gram, Rani Corporation, Jarvis Currency Exchange, Khan BBQ and Money Dart, The parade ended with an incredible performance from the Jessie White tumbling team.
Mr. Raja M. Yaqub Chairperson for Independence Day Parade 2012: In his short yet spirited speech, he said, “There are many issues Pakistan faces today, and we must have the courage to actively make sacrifices to solve the problems. The energy crisis substantially hinders economic activity, about 50% of the population lives in poverty and is illiterate, inflation and underemployment is prevalent, and the unfortunate problem of religious extremism are pressing issues that must be addressed. However, despite the fact that corrupt politicians and military dictators have tried to rule Pakistan, we must have hope and never be disheartened. Social justice must be doled. Let us not forget the original reason for the creation of Pakistan. Pakistan stands for unity and love of humanity, pluralism, and equality. Pakistan is a nation of people who resolutely persevere, no matter what obstacles come in the way. As Pakistani Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs, If we are loving, united, honest, brave, and continue the vision of the founding fathers, we can overcome any obstacle that comes our way. We are the people, and the power is in our hands to determine the destiny of our nation.”
Jawaid Riaz, Souvenir Committee: In his speech on the occasion of Independence Day Parade, he said, “This year the celebration of Pakistan’s independence carries extra importance and significance as it is a double anniversary. Pakistan was formed on 14th August 1947 of the Gregorian calendar which happened to fall in the month of Ramadan in the 1366th year of the Hijri calendar. This year Pakistan’s sixty-fifth independence, celebrated on 14th August 2012, again falls as it did all those years ago, in the month of Ramadan in the 1433rd year of the Hijri calendar. I feel proud to be associated with such dedicated Pakistani Americans who have demonstrated their true love for Pakistan.
Joseph Berrios Assessor: Befittingly he said,” It is with great privilege that I congratulate you and your community on the 65th anniversary of Pakistan Independence Day! The importance of an independent, unified country cannot be understated. Even though more than 100,000 Pakistanis reside in Chicago, it remains vital that you remember and recognize the day Pakistan was able to declare its independence.”
Consul General of Pakistan, St Louis USA: Azfar Malik in his message conveyed, ‘We as Pakistani Americans are fortunate enough to experience and learn in this great adopted country of USA, It bestows on us to take the knowledge of the systems to our homeland, so that every Pakistani living in Pakistan can benefit from each one of us. Even though this job may appear to be surmountable but if each one of us contributes a little in our own way, it would lead to some meaningful change for the people of Pakistan. The future cannot be predicted but it can be achieved through determination, it is the ability of the people in Pakistan to accomplish the vision and goals for Pakistan, We as Pakistani Americans can help them follow the vision and dreams, of a better and brighter Pakistan. ‘
Message from Mr. Zaheer Pervaiz Khan Consulate General of Pakistan Chicago “I wish to convey warm felicitations to all Pakistani Americans on the auspicious occasion of the Independence Day of Pakistan. On this day, 65 years ago, a new country was created for the Muslims of the Indian sub-continent under the illustrious leadership of our great leader Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. We must bow our heads to remember the sacrifices made by all men, women and children who struggled for the creation of Pakistan where all citizens could live independently according to their religious beliefs with their social and cultural values. Pakistani community abroad is a great asset for the country. All community members must continue to improve Pakistan’s image as truly modern, dynamic, progressive and democratic Islamic state that is open to have close friendly relations with all nations of the world on the basis of equality, sovereign integrity, principles of justice and mutual respect for each other. I must compliment all members of the Pakistan United Parade Committee; especially its Chairman, Mr. Raja M. Yaqub for making excellent arrangements to celebrate the Independence Day of Pakistan” message from Consulate General of Pakistan Chicago’
Unfortunately, few other key figures such as Governor Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Senator Mark Kirk couldn’t make it to the celebration, however they sent letters to the congratulate the Pakistani community.
About 2,000 people still attended the Mela. Delicious assortment of Pakistani food was served. Also present were many different varieties of stalls of shops to browse from. Many colorful and beautiful Pakistani dresses were worn, great music, and special singing performances were just a taste of the event. Raffle tickets sold for $10 a piece which awarded prizes such as an airline ticket to Pakistan, flat screen television, camcorder, digital camera, iPod, and many more.
Following people received awards:
• Dr. Teepu Siddique: Award of Recoginition is a neuroscientist with North western’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He has discovered a common cause behind the mysterious and deadly affliction of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or commomly named Lou Gehrig’s disease. The discovery provides an opening to finding treatments for ALS and could also pay dividends by showing the way to treatments for other, more common neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson.
• Dr Mohammad Wasiullah Khan: leadership award is a founder-chancellor of the East West University, a multi-cultural institution of higher learning in Chicago. East-West University is a not-for-profit institution started operations in September, 1980 offering Bachelor’s and Associate degrees in several professional areas. The University has grown large with about 1200 students and more than $18 million budget.
• Mohammad Nadeem: Media award Publisher Pakistan Times Weekly
Sponsors of the event were Allied Print Copy, Amana Mutual Fund, Ashyana Banquet, ASIA Insurance, BBQ King, Bridge Travel, Browns Chicken, City Taxi Service, East West University, Fresh Frams, Globe Taxi, HDF, Helping Hand, IFANCA, Indus Society, First Bank Card, Insure w Us, Islamic Foundation, JF Lab, Jarvis Money Exchange, KFC Zabiha, King Autos, King Sweets, legal Shield, Mid West Cash & carry, Money Dart, M C College, Monty’s Banquet, Money Gram, Nayab mart, National Bank Card, Pakeeza Restaurant, Pak-American Medical Center, Pakistani Business Association, Pakistan International Airline, Pitta House, Pitta Inn, Pitta Kabob, Primer Motorwerks, Pakistani Physicians Society, Rk Carpets, Raj Jewls, Rogers Park Autos, Sabri Nihari, Shan Restaurant, SPEX Car Wash, Tahoora Sweets, Tayyaba, Tazza 2 UI , Barkat Foods, Usmania Restaurant, Universal Money Transfer, Xpress Signs, Zabiha Meat Market, Zeenat B~gguet and Special Thanks To Riaz H. Waraich
“I would like to thank our sponsors, the Parade Committee members, the volunteers, the media, our friends and especially our community; without their help, this celebration would have been impossible. Wishing everybody a happy and healthful Pakistan Independence Day and I am proud to be associated with such dedicated people who demonstrated their respect and love for Pakistan” said by Raja M Yaqub .
Board of Directors
Abdul Wahid Butt, Sagher Ali Bikhtiari, Dr.Arshad Mirza, Asif Saleem, Asif Khan, Hameed Ullah Khan
Muhammad Khokhar, Jawaid Riaz,, Raja Razzaq, Raja Tasleem, Raja M. Yaqub, Dr. Wasiullah Khan
Yasin Chohan and Zakir Sabri
Photographs and Press release by: Asian Media USA
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