Islamabad  -  The Pakistan Foreign Office Women’s Association (PFOWA) on Sunday held its annual charity bazaar, bringing together a vast mix of cultural diversity from different countries. First Lady, Samina Alvi inaugurated the charity bazaar at the premises of Foreign Affairs Ministry, where stalls showcased traditional artefacts of countries including China, Russia, Azerbaijan,  Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, Iran, Japan, Central Asian states, Malaysia, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Yemen. Begum Alvi in her address said it was heartening that the charity bazaar was presenting a bouquet of culture, art and cuisine with an essence of harmony and affinity among different nations. She lauded Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the diplomatic community in Islamabad to team up for a noble cause of philanthropy.

She also shared her philanthropic work including providing education to street children,  women empowerment, distribution of ration and clean drinking water to underprivileged Muslims and minorities, and arranging cataract surgeries. She added that the PFOWA charity Bazaar was a good opportunity for diplomats from different countries to learn about each other’s cultures. Flanked by Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, the First Lady also visited different stalls set up at the bazaar.

Chinese Deputy Head of Mission Lijian Zhao donated Rs one million to PFOWA on behalf of the embassy of China. Earlier, President PFOWA Anila Hassan in her welcome address said the theme of bazaar ‘Celebration of diversity’ was apt at times when the world was facing the issues of tolerance and discrimination on the basis of race, colour, caste and creed. Patron PFOWA Mehreen Qureshi said the association was adhering to its mission of philanthropy since 1947 to reach out to low-income families in diplomatic corps.

 A ‘Parade of nations’ was held where children of diplomatic staffers, donning cultural dresses of their respective countries presented tableaus and waved their respective national flags. The PFOWA bazaar also provided the visitors with an opportunity to indulge their taste buds into the dining experience of a variety of cuisines from different countries.