Spectacular cultural events mark 48th Asean Day in Doha The members of the Asean Committee in Doha held a press conference at the Philippine School of Doha yesterday for the staging of the Asean Day celebration. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter Cultural events highlighted the 48th Association of South East Asian Nation’s (Asean) founding anniversary yesterday at the Philippine School of Doha (PSD) gymnasium. Groups of student performers from PSD enthralled spectators and guests with traditional Asean songs, dances, and shows on stage. “All of us have witnessed once again how our community in Doha can work hand in hand to deliver and present the diversity and harmony that Asean countries have,” said Indonesian ambassador and Asean Committee in Doha (ACD) chairman Deddy Saiful Hadi, who thanked PSD principal Alexander Acosta and his team for hosting the event. The envoy was speaking at a press conference announcing the staging of the celebration held the same day which was attended by other ACD members. The Committee comprises ambassadors and senior embassy officials from Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia. The Asean Day programme consists of a number of activities such as the traditional flag-raising, booth viewing and cultural presentations of each country staged by PSD students. Hadi expressed optimism that their programmes and activities in Doha will continue in the future. “We want to maintain the spirit and solidarity among Asean communities in the country.” He believes the staging of cultural shows enhances the co-operation in various fields between Asean and Qatar. Ambassadors Wilfredo Santos (Philippines), Nordin Ahmad (Brunei Darusaalam), Piroon Laismit (Thailand) and Nguyen Huang (Vietnam), as well as Mohd Noor Zaky Mohd Nasir (charge d’affaires of Malaysia) and Kenny Tan and (charge d’affaires of Singapore), joined Hadi on stage for the opening of the celebration. “Today’s event reminded us what Asean founding fathers had achieved on August 8, 1967 when they gathered at the first Asean Ministerial Meeting and signed the Bangkok Declaration,” Hadi said in his speech. “They were Adam Malik of Indonesia, Tun Razak Hussein for Malaysia, Narcisco Ramos of the Philippines, S Rajaratnam from Singapore and Thanat Koman of Thailand.” The 48th Asean Ministerial Meeting under the theme “One Vision, One Identity, and One Community” took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from August 1 to 6. It was attended by the 10 member countries. He said this year’s theme stresses the members’ commitment to achieve the Asean Community Vision 2025. The envoy hopes the final day of the meeting (yesterday) will produce positive results which will significantly contribute in achieving the ‘Asean dream’ of being a single community. “The ACD and its ‘working group’ encourage its communities to work with us hand in hand to introduce Asean to our brothers and sisters in Qatar through many activities,” he added. Hadi also cited the success of the Asean Festival held at Katara – the Cultural Village from April 30 to May 2 which gathered thousands of visitors.