‘French Cultural Evening’
Islamabad—Foyers of Serena Hotel’s Shamadan Hall were glimmering and guests seated at a fundraising dinner titled ‘French Cultural Evening’ were anxiously waiting for the ceremony to conclude as world renowned ‘Sherazade et L’avion rose’ were to perform after the ceremony for the rest of the time.
French embassy and Serena Hotel took a positive, rather morale boosting initiative for the Pakistani girls in education and sports (squash, polo, skiing and football) and organized a fundraising dinner that fetched in around Rs3.8 million. The cheque was presented to Vice Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Asad Lodhi who happens to be on a senior position at both Squash and Ski federations of Pakistan (vice president of the former and president of the latter). The money raised thus, said French ambassador Martine Durance while addressing on the occasion, would help girls in Pakistani sports find themselves not only at home but at the international level as well. “I am happy that Serena Hotel is at the forefront and the Air Chief Marshall Sohail Aman also responded to this call of talent-hunt for Pakistani women in sports and tonight we’ve among us a high-ranking Air Force officer (AVM Lodhi) representing the ski and squash federations,” she said. She also spoke high of the CEO of the Serena Hotel, Aziz Boolani for making the event a great success. Pakistani girls, said Ambassador Durance, are superbly talented and highly gifted and we only need to find them out and support them a little bit. Tonight’s gala, she said is dedicated to Pakistan’s sports and education sector especially for emerging talented girls. Sports, she said should occupy a central place in each society. “Let me here quote the French Founder of International Olympic committee Pierre de Frédy, who said, ‘The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well,’ ” said Ambassador Durance to the cheers of the audience.
Aziz Boolani, CEO of the hotel and a great patron of such causes in society, paid tributes to French Embassy in Pakistan that not only appreciated the idea of boosting Pakistani girls in sports but also stepped forward and contributed greatly for the cause. It is possible only with the support and help of the Ambassador of France and her team that we could generate Rs3.8 million tonight for the promotion of female talent in Pakistan. This is the first but not last such effort and we shall be looking forward for more such functions in the days to come, he said. AVM Asad Lodhi thanked the both saying the funds raised would contribute significantly to the efforts of the PAF patronizing the games of squash and skiing. He also briefed the efforts to promote skiing among the youth. Pakistan he said with its snow-capped mountains and hills is one of the best sporting terrains.
On the occasion, Pakistan’s talented young sportswomen were also introduced. One could see and get inspiration from Asmara Kiani, Pakistan’s Best Player in Football for the year 2015; Fatima Sohail South Asian winner in skiing championship held in India 2011; squash star Noreena Shams and a Polo athlete who has won laurels. They are all among the stars of Pakistan’s sports horizon. At the end of the ceremony and the seated dinner Sherazade performed. She sang, she danced and besides her songs she superbly rendered in five different languages, she also mesmerized the audience with her bold looks, her curves and above all her sensuous, sensational steps.