Jul 26 2012 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
UP TO 1,500 visitors could enjoy a cultural festival at the borough’s athletics stadium if a licence is granted by councillors.
The Afghan Paiwand Association, a charity supporting asylum seekers and refugees, has applied to Harrow Council for permission to hold a one-off Afghan Summer Festival on Saturday, August 25 at Roger Bannister Sports Centre in Uxbridge Road, Hatch End.
Director of the Colindale charity, Farid Mall, said: “Harrow has possibly between 3,500 and 4,000 Afghans living there. There are quite a lot of families and a number of small businesses run by Afghans.
“We want to bring to the local community our cultural background to help them understand Afghan people are not only those who you can watch on television with the war, bombings and fighting.
“We want to present a positive image of this community.”
If it gets the go-ahead, there will be volleyball and football competitions between noon and 6pm, as well as kite flying, a fun fair and stalls run by community organisations.
There will also be traditional Afghan dance using dhol drums, with separate performances by men and women.
The organisers held a successful Rumi festival last year in Finchley, north London, with performances of Afghan folk music, which attracted some 1,000 people.
Mr Mall said: “If we have good weather I think we will have between 1,000 and 1,500 people, from Harrow, Brent and Barnet, possibly Ealing and certainly Hillingdon.
“We hope that people who are local get the information as well and can come to see Afghans in Harrow.”
Families would be able to visit the event between 11am and 7pm, with the live music stage operating between 2pm and 6pm.
Entry on the door would be £10 adults and £5 for children, because the association has not found funding to cover the costs.
Harrow Council, which owns the sports stadium, received an application from the association for a one-day premises licence on July 10 and it will be decided in due course.