Progressive American Community Empowerment, the brainchild of two Pakistani American professionals Saeed Hasan and Adnan Bokhari, organized an event to celebrate US Independence Day at Merrick Park Road Golf Club on Monday, July 4th. A sizeable number of members of the Pakistani American community, based on Long Island attended.
Hasan and Bokhari invited several public officials and candidates running for different offices, including NY State Senator John Brooks, State Assemblyman David McDonough, Suffolk County legislator Carrie Solages, Hasan Ahmad who was recently elected to the Suffolk County school board, a representative of Senator Chuck Schumer’s office, etc. Slogas is running for the US Congress and is seeking the support of South Asian voters, especially those of Pakistan origin. Pakistan’s Vice Consul General Nawab Adil Khan also attended the event.
The event was a mix of celebration, canvassing, and revisiting the Declaration of Independence and its relevancy to today’s murky politics. “We can say to Thomas Jefferson today how visionary he was because the document (Declaration of Independence) he authored 250 years ago is still good, relevant and functional,” state senator Joh Brooks said in his remarks.
In a veiled reference to the intense ongoing debate on abortion following Roe vs Wade verdict of the Supreme Court, Senator Brooks added that some people were trying to reinterpret the Declaration of Independence to determine “what rights we have”. He also strongly advocated for more immigration, saying the US was the melting pot of cultures. “We should continue to welcome more immigrants,” he added.
Earlier, Hasan and Bokhari alternately emceed the event. Hasan traced back the history of PACE and how his organization was playing a vibrant role in bridging the gap between the Pakistani community and mainstream politics. PACE has been organizing events that are geared to involve Pakistani Americans more in mainstream politics and greater civic engagement.
Fanaa, a group of college students who promote classic Desi dance by offering free dance classes, also performed. Several families and children also received special gifts. Guests were treated with Halwa Puri breakfast and lunch. At the end of the program, Assemblyman McDonough cut the Independence Day cake.
More glimpses of the event (Pakistan Week photos)