Japan-Pakistan Friendship Fest 2007

ISLAMABAD, Oct 25: A speech contest and children's art competition were organised on Wednesday at the National Art Gallery (NAG) as part of the Japan-Pakistan Friendship Fest 2007 by the Japanese Embassy in collaboration with the Pakistan-Japan Cultural Association (PJCA), Islamabad, and MEXT Alumni Association of Pakistan (MAAP). Nearly 100 enthusiastic students from over 33 different schools of Islamabad and Rawalpindi participated in the competition.

Addressing the prize distribution ceremony, Japanese Ambassador Seiji Kojima said the youth of Pakistan were well acquainted with Japanese culture and traditional values but he stressed the need for holding such competitions to further promote creative activity involving the young talented artists of Pakistan. He said, "Some of them (the participants) have pointed out some interesting details which I had overlooked."

OPF Girls College's Yasmeen Khan grabbed first position in the art competition while Zarlish Amjad, Roots International College, Islamabad, and Mahnoor Bashir, Presentation Convent School, Rawalpindi, took second and third positions respectively while a consolation prize was given to Sara Farooq, City School, Mirpur, Azad Kashmir.

In the speech competition, Maryam Ghaznavi, Roots Schools System, Rawalpindi, took the first position, the second prize went to Sundus Rauf, OPF Girls College, Islamabad, while Saif Jamshed, City School, Islamabad, took third position. The consolation prize was awarded to Amal Basit, Roots International College, Islamabad.

The theme of the Children's Art Competition was "How I Visualise Japan on Canvas" while the theme for the Speech Contest was "How Japan can become a role model for Pakistan." This art competition and speech contest has proved to be very popular event among school children for the past 13 years, mainly because of the interesting subjects and the opportunities for the children to freely express themselves.

The panel of judges for the speech contest included Sultan Sikander Khan, the former MAAP president, Shabnam Riaz, newscaster and columnist, and a representative from the Embassy of Japan.

Ghulam Rasool, a renowned painter and former PNCA director Ggneral and Fauzia Minallah, a renowned painter, along with a representative of the Embassy of Japan made up the panel of judges for the art competition. The purpose of the competition was to reinforce the friendly relations between Japan and Pakistan and to allow the students to become more familiar with various aspects of the Japanese culture. Daily Times

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