The president of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) and Pakistani Ambassador Muhammad Naeem Khan jointly inaugurated a Pakistani food festival at Riyadh Palace Hotel Monday night. The food festival, the first of its kind organized by the Pakistani embassy in Saudi Arabia as part of its cultural exchange initiative, will run until Friday.
Speaking after formally cutting the ribbon to mark the opening of the festival, RCCI President Abdulrahman Al-Jeraisy said, “Pakistan is a brotherly country for Saudi Arabia, and Pak-Saudi relations have stood the test of time.” The Kingdom’s leadership and its people consider Pakistan as their second home and similarly, the sacred land of Saudi Arabia has been a second home for Pakistanis through the years, he added.
“This, in addition to the strong political and commercial relations and the religious bonds, has always kept Saudi-Pakistani relations cordial and intact,” said Al-Jeraisy. He also called on Pakistani businessmen, professionals and workers to derive benefits from the booming economy of the Kingdom. The inaugural ceremony was attended by a large number of Saudi and Pakistani officials, diplomats and other guests.
A troupe of children performed on the beats of music, which entertained the guests participating in the festival. Ambassador Khan acknowledged the assistance of various organizations and individuals in making the festival possible.
Referring to the food festival, the envoy said it was part of a series of events organized by the Pakistani embassy to showcase Pakistan’s culture. “The aim is to enable our Saudi brothers and others to directly experience Pakistan’s rich civilization and heritage,” said the envoy. “Through the food festival, we have tried to bring a representative sample of Pakistani cuisine to the Kingdom.”
He pointed out that Pakistani cuisine was a delicious blend of cooking from several regions and civilizations. It has combined local eating habits and food with those from Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Ottoman Empire, he added.
“It is this great variety and this unique blend that has made Pakistani dishes famous all over the world,” said the ambassador. “I hope that all our guests, particularly those new to Pakistani cuisine, will enjoy the dishes on offer.” He pointed out that the Pakistani chef, Muhammad Farooq, was a well-known celebrity chef in Pakistan. “I would like to inform you that not only has he prepared scores of dishes for you, he is also ready to provide recipes and advice for making various dishes,” he said.