Name: Kazim Akbar Nationality: American
Itinerary: 2006 IMANA Beijing Convention
Time of Traveling: July, 2006
Dear Mr. Shiraz Malik, Salaam Alaikum
My name is Kazim Akbar and I, my wife, daughter and grand daughter went to China in the group of Dr. Khalid Rehman. It was a wonderful trip and an extraordinary vacation. It turned out to be more like a vocational trip with immense learning experience. I must congratulate you for planning the trip to its finest details. And full credit should also go to Mr. Yusuf and Mr. Johan of ICT tours for executing the plan effectively- like clockwork.
As a retired Army Officer, who served through two wars, I am well aware, how much it takes to plan Logistic Support for an Operation and what is involved in its execution. I can say, therefore, that planning on your part and its execution by ICT was done with Military Precision. There is so much that I can say about the finer details. But I will only mention some of the remarkable facilities that we enjoyed. We didn’t have to show our passports and register to check-in. Hotels had already received details of the guests. Our National Tour Guide gave us room keys as soon as we arrived at the hotel. We were divided in groups named after the color given to our bus. Our baggage went to to one floor accordingly. And it was taken out before check-out, and sent directly to the airport. We didn’t have to buy our ticket and get Boarding Pass. Imagine 200 people lined up for checking in at the airport and baggage weighing. It would have consumed hours standing in lines. We got our boarding pass on arrival and moved straight to the departure gate. What a VIP treatment.
Before leaving Pakistan we were apprehensive about the type of food we will get in China. We thought of carrying canned food as well. But what a surprise. We ate at Muslim restaurant in every city every day. Quality and variety of food was such that it was a treat every time. Yet some people wanted to go for Pizza and missed eating it. You might hear complaints from some disgruntled participants. I can say that these would be those of the kind who always complain and grumble. They become miserable because they see their glass half empty; unlike the happy people who see their glasses half full.
That is not all I have to say. I can go on and on describing how much was done for our enjoyment and what a great experience and education it has been for us. I must also say that our group was the luckiest to have Angela as our National Guide. We were called the ‘Brown Bus’. Angela was full of knowledge about the History and culture. But what made her dear to all of us was her warm personality and how much care she took for our comfort. She was more than a guide; she was our host and we became her pampered guests. She was there to provide help even after the day was over. Mahvish, my 19 year old grand daughter simply adored her. Angela’s personal charm made our group as one family and we would shout like children in response to every question she asked. Soon we became envy of the other groups. No other bus had the same harmony, friendship and tolerance as Brown Bus. On the last day as we said farewell to Angela; our spokesman asked what we thought of her. Answers came: She is wonderful; she is helpful, she is caring, she is affectionate, she is beautiful; she is the best guide- She is Professional. My narration would be incomplete if I don’t mention our last Local Guide. That was Mr. Yin. I called him Commnder Yin. It was amazing to see his love of romance, hear his mythical love stories, his grasp of historical knowledge and his humor. Yet he had been a military man. He created an atmosphere of participation by the Brown Bus riders. We enjoyed his stores told in his peculiar accent which we began to like very much.
At the end I would say that I and my family (We were a family of seven members) owe much gratitude to you, to Mr. Yusuf, Mr. Johan and to Angela for the most memorable vacation of our life.
With best wishes and regards