ABU DHABI // Pupils from Pakistani schools in the emirate showcased a colourful programme today to celebrate relations between Pakistan and the UAE.
Pakistan comprises diverse cultures and ethnic groups, and the flavours of all were demonstrated at Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Arab Pakistani School in the capital.
Attired in typical, colourful Pakistan dress representing the five major provinces of Pakistan, pupils kept the audience enthralled.
They showcased song and dance performances from Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan, Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan. At the end, there was an Emirati wedding demonstration and the recitation of a poem from the prominent scholar Allama Iqbal.
The children chanted slogans, clapped and shouted in support of the performers.
Shifa Saleem, a Grade 6 pupil from a Pakistani school in Musaffah attired in a traditional Emirati dress, performed an Arabic dance.
"This is the first time I have participated in an event outside the school and I enjoyed it very much," she said.
Amna Azam Malik, a Grade 8 pupil from a Musaffah school, said: "I enjoyed the Arabic and Pakistani cultural fusion portrayed nicely in the wedding drama. That was the best."
School officials said there are three Pakistani school in the emirate, with about 4,000 pupils in attendance.
Tabinda Al Ghizala, principal of the Sheikh Khalifa Pakistani School, said: "It took students almost a month to get ready for the show. The school sent a team to Pakistan to bring special traditional dresses and souvenirs."
On behalf of the all students, Sania Jeelani, a Grade 12 student, paid tribute to Malala Yousufzai, the young girl shot in the head by the Taliban.
Jamil Ahmed Khan, the Pakistani ambassador, encouraged students to engage in more extra-curricular activities which brighten their future and shape their personality. The ambassador termed the performances "magnificent".