May 25-27, 2013

PAANA Holds Its Annual Get-Together


The Publican Alumni Association of North America (PAANA) held its Annual Get-Together from May 25-27, 2013 in Washington, DC.


A report on the event compiled by Noorul Haq Siddiqui (Class of 1969) is given below.


Another report compiled in Urdu by Yemeen ul Islam Zuberi (Class of 1969) can be viewed by clicking here.


Friday, May 24

It was a long weekend in the USA and Washington, DC was blessed with beautiful weather. Friday May 24 PAANA members started to congregate at our gracious host Qamar Adil Owais Kazmi (all 4 of them!) and Uzma Bhabi, and Humza Kazmi house.


Allah Taala has given our friend a big heart a lovely wife who tirelessly cooks some of the most sumptuous and mouthwatering dishes. This time was no exception there were "Dasterkhan-e-Mughulia" was spread-out for the PAANA members. Delicious brunch and dinner with multi course meals was at hand (thanks to Uzma Bhabi's culinary expertise).


Picture on right shows, (left to right) Mohammad Nasim (1969), Asad Kamal (guest), Noorul Haq Siddiqui (1969), Yemeen Zubairi (1969), Iqbal Sayeed (1969), Qamar Adil Kazmi (1969), Javed Hashmi (1965), Khawja Azizuddin (1973), Aftab Siddiqui (1970) and with his back to the camera, Nadim Khan (1966).


We saw some new friends this time and missed some old friends that could not attend due to unforeseeable excusable reasons. By late afternoon some friends left with the promise to return with a full day commitment next day. This was a day of making acquaintances with each other.


Saturday, May 25

Next day Saturday May 25 was a full day with PAANA future planning and fun activities. Most of the respondents to the get together were at Kazmi residence. Attendees included (by year) ; Moin Siddiqui (1962), Nadim Khan (1966), Javed Hashmi (1967), Farid Randhawa (1968), Qamar Kazmi (1969), Iqbal Saeed (1969), Yemeen Zubairi (1969), Mohammad Naseem (1969), Noorul Haq Siddiqui (1969), Aftab Siddiqui (1970), Khawaja Aziz (1972), along with the lovely wives. Other important attendees were sisters Zeenat Sajjad (1967) and Naema Fareedi (1980). We also found a new friend Asad Kamal (more on him later). Skype and phone lines were set up and open for call in for our overseas friends and also from North America. Some friends took the advantage and called in via Skype or phone Ashraf Kapadia (1969), Mirza Naseeruddin Aali (1969), Farrukh Munir (1969), and Shams Siddiqui (1971).


Picture above shows, (seated left to right) Farid Randhawa (1968), Javed Hashmi (1965), Nadim Khan (1966), Qamar Adil Kazmi (1969), Noorul Haq Siddiqui (1969), and (standing left to right) Asad Kamal (guest), Mohammad Nasim (1969), Aftab Siddiqui (1970), Iqbal Sayeed (1969), Khawaja Aziz (1972), Yemeen Zubairi (1969).


There were introductions (detailed that can put people to sleep - just kidding) it was a great time to learn about our fellow publicans, their families, hobbies, work and memories of our beloved school Cantt Public Karachi. Memories include visits to Mr. Hyder's office (for gup-shup, you all know that), the proctor Z.A. Khan, Lala Rafiq, Asst. proctor Mama, Miss Durre Shamim Musharrif (Mrs. Rafi), Mr Essam, Mr Alvi, Mr Siddique, Mr Lohdi, Mr Qureishi (Sr. and Jr.). Numerous other teachers were mentioned with found remembrances in the whole day discussion.


Picture on the right shows, (seated left to right) Ghazala Zubairi (1968), Uzma Kazmi, Zeenat Sajjad (1967), Yusra Khan, Mutahar Aziz and (standing left to right) Uzma Hashmi, Seema Nasim, Alia Azizuddin.


That evening brought a new flavor to the gathering, one that is dearer to all of us PAANA members. "What can we do to help the teachers, students and the overall educational system in Karachi, Pakistan". The overwhelming feeling was that the school had given us so much; we are here because the love and help we receive a young publicans, and now it is our turn. After the Mughrib namaz there were purzoor duaa for the host, the group's intentions and the future success of our endeavors.


In the Kazmi residence basement, the discussion went from PAT to the GHQ to Cantt Board; Challenges and opportunities. In a nutshell all agreed that PAANA should concentrate on helping the surviving teachers and families (help will be need based) if some of our Publican friends can help with locating the needs. Call went out to Miss Musharrif to get her opinion on the matter; we all got a chance to give salaam to one of the icons of Cantt. Public School, and received abundant duaas from her.


It was agreed that PAANA should remain a vital Alumni association with a vibrant and active, albeit small membership. Also, we to think about the tax exempt status of the group. We all agreed that the help will be in the form of in-kind and not cash.


Picture on the right shows, (left to right) Noorul Haq Siddiqui (1969) and Qamar Adil Owais Kazmi (1969).


After the picture sessions the group came back upstairs for a sumptuous dinner and a kalaam-o-bayan. Qamar Adil and Yemeen shared their nazms and ashaar with the rest of the group. Our new-found friend Asad (who was getting married the next day) brought his key board and the mehfil was garm and was highly mahzooz by his naat and ghazals recitations.


Later, the FeeAmanAllah and good byes was the order of the evening.


Sunday, May 26

Sunday May 26 was another great brunch at the Kazmi residence, Moin Siddiqui, Farid and Yemeen rolled in the in-house guest Iqbal, Noor and the host Adil were are back at the discussion and planning for the future PAANA activities. The lunch was again a great multi-course affair (thanks to Uzma Bhabi – although Adil kept claiming he is the one) wallah alam bis sawab. In the evening the party broke and the in-town folks left for their abodes.


Picture on the right shows the gracious hosts (left to right) Qamar Adil Owais Kazmi (Class of 1969), his wife, Uzma Kazmi, and their son Humza Kazmi


Noorul Haq Siddiqui

Class of 1969