Diplomacy and Diamonds: South Asian Chamber of Commerce Gala
Society with Ruchi
Fabulous saris and the salwar-kameez from India and Pakistan ruled the gala scene at The Junior League of Houston ballroom for the 18th Anniversary South Asian Chamber of Commerce Gala on March 1, 2012. This high profile gala was a sold out event as guests eagerly awaited to hear from the international socialite, global political activist and ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’ fame Joanne King Herring. She was also the recipient of the SACC Lifetime Achievement Award, she kept the guests engaged with her entertaining speech.
The gala was rightly themed after her book ‘Diplomacy and Diamonds’, that features her Wars from the Ballroom to the Battlefield. The room was bustling with diplomats, political leaders, entrepreneurs, fashionistas and socialites, all dressed to impress. Julia Roberts played Joanne King Herring in ‘Charlie Wilson’s War’, but the real-life Texan exclaimed that the movie was far from reality with lots of ‘reel’ exaggeration but as Tom Hanks said, “this is Hollywood,” informed Herring. Joanne thrilled everyone with her speech that poked fun at politics, Hollywood and she also inspired the crowd with her daring and dauntless philanthropic escapades.
Guests gathered in large numbers to interact with the very friendly keynote speaker and author Joanne King Herring as she patiently signed her book ‘Diplomacy and Diamonds’ while sharing her stories. It was delightful to see both the Pakistan Consul General in Houston and Indian Consul General rub shoulders at the gala. Due credit must be given to the mistress of ceremony, award winning journalist Channel 13 Reporter Sonia Azad who made sure of the smooth flow of the event.
This season Pakistan is undoubtedly making the headlines as Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy takes home the Oscar for the best documentary, Saving Face. Proud Houstonian and an ardent social worker Mariam Issa informed Lights Camera Action that throwing acid was a prevalent issue in Pakistan and that she was very proud that such a cause came into limelight. Also making headlines for its efforts to bridge and empower the South Asian Community is the Chamber since its inception in 1993.
Overall a fun filled, exciting and inspiring gala hosted by the tireless efforts of many such as Shenila Humayun Naseem, Nomaan Husain, Co-Chairs Mustafa Tameez and Ash Shah. Amongst the other handsome and pretty bunch spotted in the crowd Sheriff Adrian Garcia (who escorted the lovely Joanne King Herring to the stage), Ellen Goldberg, Nat and Leela Krishnamurty, Reji and Roy Joseph, Munir Ibrahim, Sanjay Ram, Gene Wu, Naureen Malik and many others.
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