Islamabad: Rhythmic music, Arabic chant and fascinating performance by the visiting Maqabeel military band of United Arab Emirates charmed Pakistani spectators in Islamabad on Monday. The musical show was part of the events organised by the Embassy of the UAE on the occasion of 47th UAE National Day.
To offer Pakistanis an authentic Emirati cultural experience, the visiting band performed traditional dances of the UAE.
One of the most appreciated performances featured a dozen men in Arabic dress swaying their heads and sticks in their hands to the rhythmic beat of music.
Two of them repetitively moved back and forth while continually spinning dummy guns, made of wood and metal.
When UAE Ambassador to Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ebrahim Al Za’abi arrived at the ceremony, he gladly joined the performers in raising the stick, earning massive applause from the crowd.
Talking to Gulf News after the ceremony, Ambassador Hamad Al Zaabi said “Pakistan is like our second home, which is why we are celebrating UAE’s 47th National Day with our brothers in Pakistan.”
Speaking about the growing relations between the people of the two countries, he said, “UAE and Pakistan have strong and traditional relationship. We are really proud of this relationship, which is becoming stronger than ever before. We are working hard to make it more strong and sustained for the future.”
TheUAE’s 47th National Day coincides with the 100th birth anniversary of the founding father of UAE, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
“Shaikh Zayed’s immense love and affinity for Pakistanis laid the foundation of stronger Pakistan-UAE ties,” a legacy continued by the current leadership of UAE which is eager to promote cultural and trade relations with Pakistan, the ambassador added.
One of the highlights of the cultural event was the performance by students from the Sheikh Zayed International Academy Islamabad (SZIA). Dressed in the four colours of the UAE flag — black, white, red and green — the young girls danced by swinging their hair and arms to the beat of the traditional Emirati music.
Malaak Rehman, a student of grade 8 at SZIA, who can speak Arabic fluently, said, “I love the Emirati dance and music so much that I participate in Emirati cultural events every year.”
The schoolteachers were as thrilled as the children to attend the ceremony.
“This is a very joyous occasion for us and our school is honoured to be part of the event alongside the military band from UAE” the principal of SZIA, Wafaa Abdul Ghaffar, told Gulf News. “Celebrating the UAE National Day with Pakistanis at a public place demonstrates that we feel safe and happy in our brotherly country.”
A Pakistani mother Adeela Zain, attending the ceremony with her young child, said, “The charming dance performance and melodic music of UAE is absolutely a treat for eyes and ears.”