2019.24.03 Attendance at the 2019 Minato City Stamp Rally World Festival

Attendance at the 2019 Minato City Stamp Rally World Festival.

March 24, 2019: It was a pleasure for H.E. Ambassador Dr. Bashir Mohabbat to attend the 2019 Minato City Stamp Rally World Festival held at the base of one of Tokyo’s prominent landmarks, Tokyo Tower.

This grand, annual international event, which draws thousands of guests each year, is the celebration of the end of the Minato City World Stamp Rally which runs from January through March. It is Sponsored by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and hosted by Minato City Hall, Japan Travel Bureau (JTB), Minato International Association, Minato Travel & Tourism Association, Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Junior Chamber International Tokyo Minato Area. It is one of the largest events hosted annually by Minato City and has participants from 36 other embassies and international organizations who introduce the charm of each of their respective countries to the many visitors by highlighting the music, art, ethnic costumes, and cuisine of each country.

H.E. Ambassador Dr. Mohabbat participated in the official Opening Ceremony, offering his remarks on the significance of such a magnificent festival and event as the Stamp Rally, as well as thanking the hosts on behalf of the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for extending such a divers, unique, and wonderful opportunity for the embassy to share Afghan culture with the citizens of Minato City, as well as all of Japan. The other participants of the official Opening Ceremony were the Minato City Mayor, the Hon. Mr. Masaaki Takei; Mr. Kouji Ikeda, Minato City Council Member; Hon. Mr. Shin Maeda, President of Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Television City Corporation; H.E. Mr. Rodrigo Coronel, Ambassador of the Republic of Nicaragua to Japan; and Mr. James Carter, Senior Global Sports Liaison Officer for the British Embassy in Tokyo.

The Embassy off the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Japan had the pleasure of hosting two separate booths. The first booth was a culture booth for displaying cultural items, costumes, crafts, and goods – such as lapis lazuli jewelry, Afghan saffron, dried fruits and nuts from Afghanistan, as well as henna tattoos, and Afghani traditional clothes visitors could try on and take pictures in.

The second booth prepared and served freshly made bolani-e gandana (a flat leek/chive filled fried pasty) & bolani-e kachalu (a flat spiced potato fried pasty) with coriander chutney or tomato chutney, as well as delicious saffron lemonade.

Both booths together welcomed over 1200 guests who stopped in to learn more about Afghanistan, taste her flavors, and enjoy the Afghan spirit and hospitality. Many large corporation and private business owners expressed great interest in the export good of Afghanistan and were eager to establish connections with Afghan counterparts to further enhance trade opportunities.

Additionally, it was a pleasure of the embassy to communicate and further strengthen the very warm and amicable relationships with other embassies located within Minto City, as well as the many local residents and businesses through this event. The Embassy of Afghanistan in Japan expresses its deep appreciation to organizers for the coordination and cooperation which allowed us to participate in the 2019 Minato City Stamp Rally World Festival, the Minato City Stamp Rally, and the Minato City World Carnival thus successfully teaching over 800 visitors this year about Afghanistan, the Afghan spirit of hospitality, her beautiful culture, and the taste of her exports.

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