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22 December 2020


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Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


I know this is essentially religious observance but I often wonder if it's a poke in the eye to a certain fundamentalist strain of Islam. For instance, I came across a photograph of Muqtada As-Sadr celebrating another birthday, that of the Prophet, at the Angry Arab which amused.


That's lovely. So much vibrancy and in many cases, seemingly unaffected joy. Makes for a nice change.

Babak Makkinejad

Must be under very heavy security, lest a Takfiri blows them up.


Made me smile, thank you.


Shia orphans sing silent night in a Beirut church


Agreed but it is Muslims who are providing that security for their fellow countrymen that they may celebrate.


These photos, and ones in the linked article, are the very definition of 'festive.' They made me smile :)

Thanks so much for sharing them!

I found this video of a young Pakistani worship band singing Christmas songs in English and one of the Pakistani languages (Urdu?) on YouTube. Beautiful voices, nice guitar, and great musical charm... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C8rKU3oocc

FB Ali

I'm glad you liked the pictures. Yes, the other songs are in Urdu.

Another nice Christmas song (also in Urdu - but it can be enjoyed by anyone) is at:



It's a step in the right direction and one of hope but is it enough! Certainly not. I am not even sure if these cosmetic steps will relieve the fear that pervades amongst the non-Muslim Pakistanis: and when I say non-Muslims it also includes some denominations of Islam that the State has labelled as non-Muslims.

Yet, it’s something that is heartening. Here is another set of photos published in the daily Dawn—a day ago—which show the federal minister for minority affairs (a Christian) in the celebrations. http://www.dawn.com/news/1304046/


Do Christians accompany Muslims in their celebrations .Lets live as brothers and sisters irrespective of religion. Lovely pictures.


Thanks you FB Ali, that's beautiful, and wonderfully crazy, too. People are such a trip!

I particularly enjoyed the brightly festooned camels - and the guy riding backwards (third camel back).

Does Santa have flying camels pull his sleigh when he visits Pakistan?

PS, I mean no offense - I just like to celebrate Humanity with humor)

FB Ali


No offence taken! Glad you enjoyed it.

I'm grateful to Col Lang for reposting this 2016 post.


FB Ali -

Thank you. There used to be a small Mawlid celebration in Seattle. Have not seen nor heard of it in years though.


It's funny, I guess, that many Muslims should feel hostile to Christmas. As Babak reminded us in the other thread, Jesus is a Prophet of Islam, after all, and his birth is a miracle described in the Koran. Christmas is something that, I wonder, Muslims should be a day worthy of celebration for themselves as well as Christians. But it's not for me to suggest what Muslims should think, I suppose.

Muzaffar Ali

Beautiful post. As a Muslim.....and learning Bible, going to Church on Sundays.... yes that was Pakistan back in 1953...very understanding and inclusive Pakistan...in some respects still is.

Our parents encouraged us to learn about other religions....


Wonderful! We always celebrated Novruz Bairam in Caucasus, while being Russians. It was celebrated even in 1960s and later in USSR. Merry Christmas everyone.


Thank you for posting


Marry Christmas and happy new year to colonel Lang and his family as well as to all corespondent and commenters of his fine blog SST.
And a special marry Christmas and a hope for a better year, for all Christians of Western Asia, especially Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. May peace be upon them.


not to be disrespectful or imply these people are disingenuous , but i find it a little odd in these places in Asia where Christianity had technically existed in some case longer than in part of Europe that they would seem to use purely western symbols,
maybe missionaries would play a role in "reviving" nominal christian sects, or its just 2019 and everything is universalized and consumerism, i mean i think i could easily an othodox christian parade from a catholic or protestant one.

Seamus Padraig

Lovely pictures! Usually, when we see such large crowds of people marching somewhere, it's a demonstration of some sort and the people are angry. But these are truly happy faces. So nice to see. And those Bactrian camels--a nice touch!--make me think of the Three Kings of Orient.

Merry Christmas to all!


pB In my experience the popular symbols of Christmas have spread from the West to all the parts of the Orient wherever they are allowed. The Christmas spirit is everywhere now.


I travel a lot and "collect" countries, now up to Travel Century Club Silver status- 150 countries.. Often asked what is my favorite country, and as I go through my mental Roladex Pakistan always comes up on top. The people, the scenery, the color, the architecture, the vitality, the food, the hotels, the absence of generic international tourism, Pakistan has it all. Thank you for sharing this new dimension. Hope others get a chance to visit before China's Belt and Road permanently takes away its relatively isolated uniqueness.


Back roads from Oman (frankincense) through Petra and on to Bethlehem. Bypasses Yemen completely.

FB Ali

Thank you, Col Lang, for reposting this 2016 piece on Xmas.

I would hope that Xmas is still celebrated in the same way in Pakistan (and the Middle East).

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