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Pak Community Holds Meena Bazar in Dhahran
Report by : Mohammad Ishaq Rana

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, April 14, 2001 – Keeping the tradition of the past, Pakistani community celebrated on April 12, 2001 a "Community Day" in the form of Meena Bazaar at the Mohammad Bin Fahad amusement park at the Half Moon beach in Dhahran. The whole idea of this get together was to provide the children and parents a leisure time to enjoy with after the school examinations. The examinations are always stressful there is an urge to feel free for some time. Irshad Nadeem Kiyani, Community Welfare Attaché was the Chief Guest at this ceremony who flew in specially for this function from Riyadh. The Meena Bazaar was organized under the umbrella of Pakistani Community Council (PCC) in the Eastern Province. Qazi Mohammad Saleem, Social Welfare Secretary of PCC organized this function. He was assisted here byYousaf Khan, Huseen Khan, Basit and Haroon Qazi, all of whom volunteered to help Saleem to make this day a great success. There were hundreds of Pakistani families. Also local Saudi families and few Philippine families also joined in celebration. There were about 40 stalls serving variety of food from different restaurants and included finger licking Kabab, Chicken Tikka, Biryani, Haleem, sweets, tea, coffee, ice cream and pans. Additionally, there were stalls for bangles, ready-made garments, shoes and bags and artificial jewelry. This time Pakistani rice and spices were attracting the large crowds.
Mohammad Waheed Aslam started the program with the recitation from the Holy Quran.   All the PCC Executive Committee seated on the stage along with chief guest Kiyani included Sajid Khan Abbasi - President, Mushtaq Malik, Patron-In- Chief, M. Ishaq Rana - Senior Vice President, Khalil Ahmed Choudhary - Vice President, Javed Inam - General Secretary, Husseen Khan - Finance Secretary, Mohammad Saleem Qazi - Social Welfare Secretary.
The most popular program, considered to the highlight of the program, was the raffle draw in which expensive items like personal computer, TV sets, round trip tickets to Pakistan, Umra tickets, Music systems, Microwave, tape recorders, cycles, refrigerators and various other minor items were distributed through the lucky draw. Qazi Saleem as usual took over the charge of raffle draw duly assisted by Yousaf Khan.
The first draw was the airline ticket donated by Qatar Airways and was presented to the winner by the chief guest. Local companies banking on wide publicity, sales and for the sake of public relations donated these gifts.
After the distribution of raffle draws, Nadeem Irshad Kiyan, the Chief Guest thanked the PCC for providing him a chance to speak on such a big gathering of Pakistani families in Saudi Arabia. I feel as home on an Eid festival, he said. I admired the PCC for holding such a colorful gala in an organized and disciplined manner. He told the audience that Embassy's doors are always open for Pakistani community particularly my section that I am looking after which is for the welfare of Pakistani community.
Before the program was started, Nadeem Kiyan talked exclusively to
Rana, a representative of Contactpakistan in the Eastern Province. He stated that Pakistan has very cordial relations with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd ibn Abdulaziz has great love for Pakistani people. In return we should prove that we too love Saudi Arabia by abiding the laws of the land. We should avoid wrong doings, which could hamper the good relations between two brotherly countries.  He said proudly that Pakistani manpower is coming to the Kingdom in abundance.
In 1999, 27000 Pakistani arrived and in the year 2000 about 67,000 Pakistanis in different fields reached the Kingdom. This included 360 doctors. He said we have a demand for 10000 doctors and are trying to hire them. Our Welfare section with utmost efforts has been able to recover around eight million Rupees from the settlement of 10 to 20 years old cases. Also we have settled about 24 blood money cases worth 20 million Rupees. Our section has regular jail visits to gather the first hand information about Pakistanis.
We also transfer the dead bodies on deserving cases, which are decided purely on merits. Usually the employer bears these costs. Our section is putting special emphasis in promoting the Pakistani manpower in the Kingdom and is pursuing these efforts aggressively.
At the end the president of PCC, Sajid Khan Abbasi thanked he chief guest and the organizers for holding such a wonderful Pakistani community day. He on behalf of PCC presented Kiyani, a plaque of appreciation for outstanding community services. The Meena Bazaar concluded by midnight.

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