By Syed Ullah
While the Pakistani Community around the world is celebrating 72th Pakistani Independence Day with exceptional enthusiasm this year in 2019. Pakistani-American community gathered from all corners of the Illinois state, as well as neighboring states, to enjoy the Pakistan Heritage Festival at Niles, Illinois on Sunday Aug. 11th, 2019. An estimated 10,000 showed up for the Festival, which celebrated the 72nd anniversary of Pakistan's Independence Day. The festival and concert featured some of Pakistan's biggest names in entertainment, such as world renowned singer Shazia Manzoor.
This Historical Festival and celebration was organized by Mere Pakistan with support from other local groups and supporters. Mera Pakistan which was founded a few years by well-known Community Leaders such as Rana Javid Khan, Aasif Malik, Masood Saahi and several others. They have only aim to promote Pakistan culture and heritage in Chicago land. During an interview with founder of organization Mr. Aasif Malik and Mr. Rana Javed said, "Basically, we Provide whole Pakistani community came together us in Niles and Celebrate Pakistan Day also we provide a Strong platform is to engage our Pakistani community and give them a feeling of home away from home. We are Pakistani-Americans and we love America." The Festival this year was led by Chairman Chaudhary Munir Akhter and Vice Chairman Asad Malik. The same team organized the same Festival last year in the same place.
There are approximately 100,000 Pakistani-Americans in Illinois, with many living in the Chicago and its Suburbs area.
Sunday's weather was totally warm and comfortable as men, women and children mostly peoples are in Pakistani national dresses and many were dressed in green colored costumes. Mostly Peoples came together with family and friends and they sit together in groups. The Pakistani festival gets better each year, with free events including outdoor Music concerts. Raffle tickets sold for $5 a piece which awarded prizes such as an airline ticket to Pakistan, flat screen television, cell phone, gift card, iPad and many more.
The proceedings began Holy Quran by Hafiz Nadeem Malik, National anthems (American and Pakistan) sung by Ms. Alaleh Zafar. Flags Hoisting ceremony held same time. The Commercial Consul General of Pakistan Chicago Mr. Amir Tareen, Mayor of the Village of Niles. Mayor Andrew Przybylo and several other members of the diplomatic community and representatives of State leaders, including State senator Ram Villivalam, Lake County treasurer Holly Kim, Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton, Commissioner Streamwood Raees Yawer and others.
The Pakistani flag raising took place at 7 p.m., while the festivities continue until about 11 p.m.
When the emcee announced that Shazia Manzoor Ali it's about to perform. All the youngster boys and girls started Bhangra as Shazia Manzoor performed Pakistani hit songs.
During the festival revelers had the opportunity to enjoy traditional music, food, and vendors.
Pakistani singers Shazia Manzoor enthralled the crowd with patriotic and other hit songs. Some local artists also performed.
This event, with all of its music, art, and activities would not be possible without the generosity of its sponsor Mr. Broast, Studio Elite, Ifanca, Asian Human Health Care, Patel Brothers, Noon and Kabab, Absolute health Care and Etc.
At the end Chairman Chaudhary Munir Akhter and Vice Chairman Asad Malik thanks all sponsors for their support and hard work in making the event a success.