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Fueled by Passion: Mashal Event

Mashal, a SF Bay Area-based organization once again impressed everyone with their Josh (passion) at a spectacular evening highlighting the best of cultural heritage at the San Ramon Arts Center, April 7, writes Ras H. Siddiqui.

Congress Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi
(Above): Children performing a drama at the Mashal event, April 7. [Ras H. Siddiqui photo]

Every year, Mashal whose motto is “together we can make a difference” is known for pushing the festive envelope and comes up with new ideas for their annual event. This time was no different since one of the best projections of our culture is its cuisine and the “Food Street” concept borrowed right out of Lahore and Karachi made a colorful and tasty first appearance in the Bay Area.

But that was just the food. The decor complete with a huge backdrop of old Lahore and the kites in the air added something special. For our amusement, Food Street also came with its own Pakistani police officer. The trivia contest conducted by Omar Khan on television, film and radio entertainment that many of us grew up with, was something that just had to be experienced by being there.

Congress Party general secretary Rahul Gandhi
(Above): A view of the crowd reveling a taste of Lahore and Karachi at the Food Street that was part of the Mashal event, April 7. [Ras H. Siddiqui photo]

Mashal president Faraz Sattar introduced many local area dignitaries present from the political, social and business realm. “I say that Josh is in our DNA,” said Faraz.

Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan from California’s 15th District urged all to strongly support Governor Jerry Brown’s upcoming budget measure in November, especially to help our school system.

Humanitarian and musician Todd Shea from the Shine Humanity organization entertained with his deep insights on Pakistan.

To conclude, the cultural program by our community youth excelled in all areas. From the first segment “Josh - The Rising Tide” all the way to “Jazba Junoon” at the very end this over two hour long extravaganza melded the colors and talents of our cultural experience in a wonderful way.

Ras Hafiz Siddiqui is a South Asian American writer. He lives in Sacramento, Calif.


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RECIPE: Bombay Karachi Halwa
AUTO REVIEW: 2012 Toyota Yaris
FICTION: Unfinished Business
CULTURE: Fueled by Passion

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