Imran H. Khan
When you put God’s creation of flowers and plants in the hands of some of the world’s most accomplished floral artists, you get amazing works of art. The World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA) held their World Show in Boston last week. The show was titled “This Glorious Earth” and was held at the World Trade Center on the water front.  WAFA has over 150,000 members from over thirty countries.  WAFA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of international floral art societies. It recently celebrated its 29th year as the global authority on floral design and aesthetics, acting as a governing body by coordinating floral art events and standards for member countries. Through its worldwide scope, WAFA enhances the diversity of the floral art form by transcending international cultural barriers and bringing together fresh ideas. Pakistan had been scheduled to host the last show, but it was canceled due to security concerns. Pakistani members made it a point to show their prowess in Flower Arrangement by sending over 40 members to this show and winning twenty awards.

President of the Islamabad chapter and the past Seminar Chairperson WAFA, Farhana Azim  represented Pakistan. She was assisted by Asma Ansari (advisor Islamabad chapter.) The International Honorary Exhibit representing Pakistan was designed and and  exhibited by Anjum Rehman (past president Lahore Club) and assisted by Samia Sikander.

Three Floral Design artists had been invited to judge at the show in Boston. They were Amtul Rauf Khan, Shahimah Sayeed,  Zareena Asghar Khan and Tanvir Khwaja, all past presidents, Karachi Club.

Competitors from Islamabad Chapter include Farhat Zaman, Anver Jehan Ansari, Farhana Azim, Asma Ansari, Waqar Boolani, Yasmin Sohail, Nasreen Cheema, Anjum Mudassar, Zeenat Afridi, Ayesha Zahid, Humaira Baber, Tahira Saleem, Shandana Bangash and Asifa Azhar. Fourteen competitors from Lahore chapter and twenty Competitors from Karachi also participated.

It goes to the credit that they came to Boston in pursuit of their passion on their own dime. They have been conducting such events in Pakistan for quite some time. Farhana Azim put a post on this blog of their event in Islamabad titled “Unity and Peace Through the Language of Flowers“.

The Pakistani exhibits to the show have been captured in the album below. It can be viewed in high resolution by clicking on the full screen icon.

Pakistani Exhibits (click to See Album)

The international exhibits can be viewed in the album below. I was impressed by the floral artists from New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Japan.

International Exhibits (Click to view Album)

Pakistan had the honor of presenting a demo with four other countries. Farhana Azim did the demo titled “Pakistan .. the land of the beautiful”.

Farhana Azim's Demo

The demo had the following video playing in the background showing scenes and people of Pakistan.

Pakistan Association of Greater Boston held a reception for the visiting Pakistani delegation at the Seaport Hotel next to the venue of the event. It gave the participants the opportunity to meet some of the local Pakistani Americans. Events like these are an ideal way to promote a better understanding of the real Pakistan around the world. The event would have had a bigger impact had the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington informed the PAGB ahead of time.

Pakistani Contingent at the PAGB Reception

Pakistan: A Country of Artists

The fact that these artists did so well in a world wide competition is a testimonial to the depth and breadth of the different forms of art that are pervasive in Pakistan. The Pakistani artistic sensibilities manifests them in music, painting, clothing, jewelry and  architecture. Some of examples can be seen below.

Floral Art



Viewed through the prism of her artists, Pakistan is a far cry from how it is depicted in the US media. There was no Af-Pak to be seen in the visiting delegation. These women wore whatever dress that they were proud to wear. They did not need foreign aid to fund their activities.  Events like this and Olympics bring out the best in all countries and help us all understand the diversity of world’s culture. I would like to thank WAFA for holding such a show in Boston with a very appropriate title for our times.

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8 Responses to “WAFA World Flower Show 2011:Boston MA”

  1. Bliss on June 27th, 2011 2:02 pm

    Beautiful job of getting this posted on the web. Beautiful pictures. Thank you!

    Farhana Azim Reply:

    Thanks . Loved being a part of the world show in Boston!

  2. Carolyn Evans on June 27th, 2011 7:25 pm

    Thank you for the exotic tour of beautiful Pakistan. I doubt if i will see it any other way. I am so sorry to miss the flower show!!!You must let us know sooner of such events. It was a very nice thing for you to share your experience.
    thank you

  3. Aamir on June 28th, 2011 3:50 am

    keep up the good work of projecting our dear country of birth, which held us in its womb and nutured us so that we were able to fly and fly high so that others could see the wonders of its creation, but alas the divine comedy that the creator/nuturer – Pakistan can not see, nor benefit from tis own creations. Such is the Irony when One chooses to not choose what is best for itself.

  4. Richard P. Thomas on June 28th, 2011 10:39 am

    I was thrilled to see the number of Pakistani entrants in WAFA! It was a real eye opener for me as I had no idea the depth of flower culture and the exquisite scope of Pakistani designers and their influence on contemporary floristry design. The presentation by Farhana Azim was truly remarkable and I loved the story she told about the origin of the Golden Fleece. Thank you for posting this article and pics.

  5. Zubair Faiz on June 30th, 2011 5:30 pm

    Awesome creativity. Thanks for sharing with the world and showing the face of Pakistan that is neglected by most media here.

  6. Zeenat Salim on July 3rd, 2011 6:13 pm

    A wonderful write up, three cheers Farhana. We are proud to be Pakistani’s. Pakistan is indeed a beautiful country with very talented,intelligent and creative people, if only the world could see with a different eye and not only what the media projects.We are indeed a very talented nation. Well done!!!!

  7. dr shahida anwer on July 20th, 2011 3:37 am

    Pakistan zindabad . Well done Pakistani ladies .We are so proud of you .congratulations to Farhana Azim on her nice presentation ,to Anjum Rehman and Samia Sikander also 4 presenting nice country exhibit. My good wishes for all the participants,and congratulations to the winners.and to the 4 kids of Lahore also who won the competition.