All flags together


Islamabad recently played host to a vibrant and colorful cultural diplomacy event, which goes a long way to capture the hearts of both locals and foreign nationals. This daylong event, ‘All Flags Together’, now in its second edition, showcases the rich tapestry of handicrafts, food, art and culture, promoting cultural understanding and the strength of cultural diplomacy.
According to a news report published on these pages, the event was organized by the Development Communications Network with the collaboration of the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), Islamabad Foreign Women Association (IFWA), Roots Future World School and COPAIR.
One of the highlights of the event was the cultural diplomacy dialogue, ‘Cultures for Peace and Development,’ which emphasized the importance of mainstreaming cultural intelligence in society and integrating cultural diplomacy into core public policy. The experts stressed the significance of the multilateral arena for cultural diplomacy, pointing to examples from countries like China, the United States, South Korea, and Kazakhstan, which have increasingly invested in regional and global forums for this purpose. Cultural diplomacy on the multilateral stage has a longstanding tradition, dating back to the World Expos that began in 1851 in the United Kingdom.
The event also featured various performances, including students from Roots Future World School presenting a scene from a Shakespeare play and a tableau showcasing Pakistan’s cultural fusion. The PNCA National Performing Arts Group (NPAG) wowed the audience with dances from Kalash and Sindhi jhoomar.
Food stalls at the event offered a delightful international culinary experience, including Moroccan meatballs, Italian mini pizza, Indonesian honeycomb cake, Yemeni sauce-drenched spring rolls, Danish meatballs, Belgian waffles, and Bahraini kebabs, among others. Moreover, more than twenty Pakistani women set up their food and handicraft stalls, showcasing the diversity of the nation’s cuisine and craftsmanship.
The event also featured speeches from various dignitaries, including the Secretary Youth, Culture, and Tourism Midhat Shehzad of the AJK government. She emphasized that cultural diplomacy is a journey through souls, a path to winning hearts and minds. It is a language of artists, artisans, students, food, clothing, heritage, and traditions that builds connections and harmony among regions, such as the Himalayan Karakoram region encompassing China, Tibet, Central Asian Republics, Afghanistan, and South Asia, forging cultural linkages and promoting harmony.
Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director and founder of ‘All Flags Together,’ Munir Ahmed, encapsulated the event’s objectives as promoting cultural understanding, bridging gaps and fostering unity for peace and development.
‘All Flags Together’ in Islamabad stands as a testament to the power of cultural diplomacy in building bridges, fostering unity, and celebrating the rich diversity that makes our world a vibrant and harmonious place.