Welcome dinner for American envoy
Ambassador Paul Jones, the American charge d’affaires, and his wife Catherine Jones, an accomplished writer, were chief guests at a large welcome party hosted by former senator Enver Baig and his wife week in their home.
Ambassador Paul Jones, who arrived in Islamabad a couple of months ago, is not a newcomer to the South and Central Asia region; he earlier served as deputy special adviser to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and then he has been ambassador to Manila. Most recently, he served three years in Poland.
Christmas decorations had already been put up in Mr Baig’s home.
“I am sure there was exchange of political views, maybe more about Pakistan’s internal affairs than relations with other countries. I noticed a group of retired civil servants and academics, sitting in a sort of gentlemen’s room, who seemed deep in what they liked best, solving all issues over good food and drinks,” said a smiling media man.
Romania celebrates national day
Ambassador Nicolae Goia and his wife hosted a reception at Serena Hotel on Nov 29 to celebrate Romania’s national day and the 100 years of the country’s Grand Union.
Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, federal minister for IT and telecommunications, was the chief guest on the occasion. In his short speech, he underlined the cordial relations between Pakistan and Romania.
After a short informative film, Ambassador Goia delivered his speech, beginning with a brief summary of Romania’s history, underlining its recent decades after the end of the Soviet Union when Romania began its truly modern history and it is now a member of the European Union, Nato and other western organisations and institutions.
Ambassador Goia said that Romania will soon and for the first time ever, take over the presidency of the European Union, and he stressed the importance of closer cooperation within Europe.
“Pakistan is an important partner in South Asia and we acknowledge Pakistan’s efforts in fighting terrorism, militancy and radical extremism,” he said, adding that this important work may affect economic projects in the country but are important to the world.
Christmas evening at German embassy
Christine Rosenberger, head of the Press and Culture Section of the Embassy of Germany hosted a traditional German Christmas Evening at the Embassy.
She said, “This is a bit early for a Christmas evening but it is the beginning of the Advent Season in Germany and it is a special season especially for all the children who are very excited prior to Christmas.
“I would like to take the opportunity this evening to give you all an insight into German Christmas traditions. It starts to get dark early so we put candles out, people enjoy cookies and chocolates and there is gift giving”.
Children from two schools, Roots DHA and Roots Millennium, had prepared short performances while the choir from Rawalpindi Station School sang two Christmas carols. Christine presented all the children with gifts and each school received an Advent Calendar with which to mark the coming of Christmas.
Christine and a colleague from the embassy played the piano and violin respectively as all the guests sang the world’s most popular Christmas carol, “Stille Nacht” (Silent Night) together — the first verse in German and the second in English.
She said: “Silent Night is an Austrian carol but from the German-speaking part. This year is also the 200th anniversary of the carol which has been recognized in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage list.”
Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2018
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