The Pakistani Civic Association celebrated Pakistan’s 64th Independence Day at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center last month. The event was both a celebration of Pakistani culture and heritage as well as an opportunity to honor members of the Staten Island community who have supported the Pakistani community on Staten Island.
Among those honored was College of Staten Island (CSI) President Dr. Tomás D. Morales, who has a lifelong dedication to ensuring equal opportunity to students from all backgrounds in their attempt to obtain a valuable college education.
In his acceptance speech, President Morales addressed possibly broadening the Center for International Service’s scope to include Pakistan as well as mentioning that Pakistani students at CSI were “great students from a great community.” He went on to say that “Pakistani students at CSI are leaders on campus and that all of CSI has been enriched by Pakistani culture.”
Other honorees at the event included Tom Early, founder of Health Plus; Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly; and Councilwoman Debi Rose. Mohammad Salman Hamdani, a young Pakistani American EMT, who was killed on September 11, 2001, was honored posthumously. The special guest for the afternoon was the Honorable Faqir Syed Asif Hussain, Counsul General of Pakistan in New York.
The Pakistani Civic Association President Dr. Mohammad Khalid called the day “a very special day to celebrate our heritage and ensure our children don’t forget the Pakistani culture.”
The outdoor event was attended by a diverse group with many enjoying the Pakistani food and live band. Children played baseball in the field adjacent to the adults who mingled with Councilwoman Rose and President Morales. As the event wound down, Dr. Khalid told attendees that he was very proud that “Pakistani Americans are very loyal, sincere, and hardworking members of the American community.”