This is the second year the Pakistan Festival has been held at the Greenmeadows East Community Hall, but the first time it will include a Pakistani art exhibition of calligraphy, painting, traditional dresses and live performances of Pakistani folk music instruments.
Syed Khurram Iqbal says the festival is important to the community because all Muslims of Hawke's Bay celebrate Eid al Adha and Independence Day together as one community. Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, and Dunedin hold similar festivals.
"We open our door to the wider community for engagement and participation."
The festival is organised by the Pakistan and Friends Hawke's Bay Association and will include Pakistani music — tabla, sitar, harmonium — live performances, food and culture displays, speeches from dignitaries, community youth and leaders.
Syed says almost a week of preparation is required to get everything ready behind the scenes before the festival opens, with the main aim to connect the unconnected Muslim community of Napier with the wider Hawke's Bay community.
"We aim to develop working relations and community inclusiveness with other Hawke's Bay communities," he says.
The festival is open to the wider community of Hawke's Bay.
"There is no cost and we will offer free food to those attending."
Syed, who won a Community Service Award last year for his extensive commitment to serving the Muslim community, is taking his oath as a JP next week.
"I observed there is no Muslim and Pakistan origin Justice of the Peace in Hawke's Bay to facilitate the Middle Eastern and South Asian Community by considering their language and legal information and understanding barriers."
Due to his community work, Syed says almost all Middle Eastern and South Asian families in the region know him.
"Few of the females in the community speak fluent English and they are dependent on others for interpretation."
He says becoming a Justice of Peace is something he has had in the back of his mind for some time.
"I observed several encounters of the Middle Eastern and South Asian community with JPs, where they were struggling to understand prerequisites and procedures to follow, so that is how I first got hold of the idea to facilitate them as a Justice of the Peace and bridge the gap to connect the unconnected of the Kiwi community based on fluency in additional languages."
Since Syed has worked for many ethnic associations, communities, and organisations as a volunteer, he says it would be a bit easier for people to connect with him for interpretation, clarification and understanding of procedures of New Zealand laws and regulations.
"Most of the Justice of the Peace is involved in an ever-increasing multitude of matters including both ministerial and judicial duties. I have the ability and willingness to work with anyone in the Kiwi community."
■ The Details:
What: Pakistan Festival
When: Saturday, July 31
Where: Greenmeadows East Community Hall, 83 Tait Drive, Greenmeadows.
Info: Free public event.