Around 400 Pakistani students from across the UAE celebrated the life and works of two great leaders of the UAE and Pakistan in a programme titled ‘Two great visionaries of the East’ at the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD).
Students from around 12 Pakistani community schools paid tribute to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Allama Iqbal by way of giving speeches, reciting poetry, making paintings on the life and works of the two leaders. The event was hosted by the education committee of PAD in line with the UAE’s Year of Tolerance and displayed the devotion and long-term friendship between Pakistan and the UAE.
Samina Nasir, head of education committee at PAD, said: “The main objective of the event was to familiarise our students with the great philosophy, poetry and moral lessons of Dr Muhammad Allama Iqbal and with the vision, leadership skills of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It is our responsibility as parents and teachers to teach children the real meaning of Allama Iqbal’s poetry that will help them become good human beings and productive members of the society. At the same time, living in this amazing country, we need to also develop awareness among our students about the rich culture of the UAE and educate them about the vision of its wise leaders.”
Apart from poster, tableau and essay writing competitions, students also took part in traditional games such as Batibazai, which is an Urdu poetry couplets competition.
Students from English Language School gave out the message of peace, tolerance and coexistence, through a powerful performance on Michael Jackson’s song ‘Heal the World’.
The chief guest for the occasion was Ahmad Amjad Ali, Consul-General of Pakistan, who distributed the trophies and certificates to the winners and runners of the competitions.
In his speech, Ali lauded the initiative and said: “Schools should include Iqbal’s poetry and his message in the curriculums for character building. Iqbal’s ideology is the basis of creation of Pakistan and it should be conveyed to our younger generations.”
Grade 8 student of Pakistan Islamia Higher secondary School Sharjah Ifra Muddasr, won the first position in the poster competition on the life and vision of the UAE’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Talking about her painting, Ifra said: “The UAE has given us so much to thank for and this is what I depicted in my painting – symbols of beauty and tolerance of the UAE and its strong culture and traditions. Some of the symbols of tolerance depicted in my painting are ghaf trees, a dove flying with a branch of olive, a woman’s face and hand painted in different colours showing the amazing unity of cultures here in the UAE between people of various nationalities. I have also written a couplet from the late Sheikh Zayed’s poetry that says no matter what background you are from, we are all equal in the eyes of Allah.”
Dr Faisel Ikram, president of PAD, thanked all the schools, teachers and students for their active participation in events, he also praised the tableau performances by various schools.