(L-R) Shakil Ahmed, PAL Chairman; Ambassador Amna Baloch; Asif Khan, PAL President.; Credit: Chronicle.lu

On Friday 21 June 2024, the Pakistan Association Luxembourg held a community social event celebrating Eid al-Adha at the Centre Culturel Bonnevoie.

Eid is a multi-day festival celebrated this year from 15 to 19 June; it is known as the Feast of Sacrifice, traditionally during which sheep are ritually sacrificed. It is one of the two main Islamic holidays (in Islamic tradition, it honours the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God's command).

Around 350 people - many of whom were dressed in traditional attire - attended the function which was the first organised by the newly-formed organisation and was very much a family occasion with many young families and children in attendance; it was held in the presence of the Ambassador of Pakistan to Luxembourg and Belgium, Amna Baloch, who is stationed in Brussels.

The formal part of the event started with prayers and the national anthems of both Pakistan and Luxembourg.

A presentation of children's artwork, prose and poetry was projected for all to see, by age group, with prizes awarded for the winning entries. The children were again involved in the next activity, a series of quizzes using Kahoot, again by age group.

Shakil Ahmed, PAL Executive Committee Chairman, then addressed the event, talking about the significant growth of the Pakistani community in Luxembourg over the past few years, and this being the first community event where Pakistani families could meet together. In addition to those working in the Luxembourg private sector, presently there are 62 Pakistani students studying at the University of Luxembourg.

Ambassador Amna Baloch also addressed the event and stated that she hoped that the Pakistani community (diaspora) will stand together; she was delighted to see all age groups being actively involved in the event, congratulating all those who took part in the children's art competition. She also mentioned that she is working on an agreement on double taxation, as well as one allowing dual nationality.

The ambassador was then presented with a bouquet of flowers.

The speeches were followed by an authentic Pakistani food buffet, with two serving areas - men on the left, with women and children on the right - prepared by a Pakistani chef based in Paris who had prepared it all on site with his team.

The entertainment was provided by way of a range of cultural activities including a live music concert to close out the evening, by Irfan Ahmed and his five-person band from London who sang in both Urdu and Hindi.