Pakistan’s Independence Day is observed on August 14 every year, when in 1947 the Muslims of the subcontinent obtained their separate independent country where they could live their lives in accordance with their own religion and culture.
Father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, addressed the Punjab Muslim Students Federation on October 31, 1947, saying, “You are the nation builders of tomorrow and you must equip yourself with discipline, education and training for the arduous task lying ahead of you.
“You should realise the magnitude of your responsibility and be ready to bear it,” he said.
In a separate message to the All-Pakistan Educational Conference on November 27, 1947, Mr Jinnah pointed out that education does not only mean merely academic education.
“There is an immediate and urgent need for training our people in scientific and technical education in order to build up our economic life,” he said.
In another speech at University of Dhaka on March 24, 1948, he stressed that “There is no shame in doing manual work and labour.”
Pakistanis, whether living in the country or abroad, are always proud of their social and cultural values and inheritance.
In keeping with this spirit, Al-Saqafa - The Pakistan Association was founded in 1993 by a group of prominent Pakistanis, led by Mohamed Afdhal Najeeb, who felt that the community needed its own welfare organisation and socio-cultural forum.
The group integrated prominent community personalities including Dr Abdul Qahir, Noor Pathan, Imtiaz Pervez, Syed Wahajuddin Ahmed, S M Iqbal, Shakeel Anwar, Dr Haroon Memon and many others.
Being a small but active forum, Al-Saqafa has held literary nights, BBQ nights for members’ families, charity programmes, educational symposiums and sponsored scholarships for needy students.
A significant part of the surplus from its programmes are donated to local charities and some are retained for financing future events.
Since its formation, Al-Saqafa has had the honour of inviting a number of Urdu literary figures from Pakistan and India including giants like Ahmed Faraz, Amjad Islam Amjad, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi, Shahzad Ahmed, Murtaza Barlas, Qateel Shifai, Jagan Nath Azad, Hamayat Ali Shaer, Dr Peerzada Qasim amongst others.
Similarly, many prominent artists have also come to Bahrain under the banner of Al-Saqafa, including Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, S B John, Mehnaz, Sajjad Ali, Tehseen Jafri and several others.
Al-Saqafa is well known today for organising highly-entertaining social and cultural events in Bahrain.
Within 29 years, the association has secured a prestigious place amongst the local social and cultural clubs by successfully presenting a number of literary symposiums and light classical musical programmes.
Al-Saqafa chairman Syed Altaf Azim is delighted at the outcome of these events which include an evening with Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi, Qawwali delight by Amjad Sabri, Aahang-e-Noor Pathan and the launch of Ahmed Adil’s Urdu Poetry book ‘Aaleme Imkan’.
The latter was held at the Cultural Hall on March 6, 2022, under the patronage of the Pakistan Embassy in celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Pakistan.