Newcastle University Pakistan Society organised a Qawwali Night on 18 February 2017 in the Students’ Union. Qawwali is a devotional musical tradition of Muslim Sufi mystics that dates back to the late 13th century. It is a pulsating genre of music, with lively and rhythmic cycles, gripping melodies and a unique approach of adding improvisational poetry. Qawwali can be rightfully labelled the music of the ‘soul’, for the ‘soul’ and by the ‘soul’.
“Qawwali is a devotional musical tradition of Muslim Sufi mystics”
World renowned qawwal, Haji Ameer Khan performed in front of more than 80 students of various nationalities. Sitting cross-legged on the concert stage, he was accompanied by an eight-man chorus including a tabla player, a harmonium player and several vocalists. Haji Ameer sang the famous qawwalis of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who is known as the “singing Buddha” and “The Voice from Heaven” by his followers around the world. The most notable performances included Allahoo, Ali Maula and Halka Halka Suroor.
Haji Ameer’s vocal artistry, resonant voice and rhythmic variations, coupled with his acrobatic agility brought appreciative murmurs of approval from the crowd, who often danced and even tossed money on him. His rendition of ‘Mast Qalandar’ enthralled the audience and brought them to their feet, with many in total trance, thus demonstrating the sheer power and magic of the song.
“the audience was dressed in traditional Shalwar Kameez”
The venue gave a festive look as the audience was dressed in traditional Shalwar Kameez, mingling with each other and enjoying the traditional delicacies. Draped in the colours and tones of the four provinces, students portrayed the cultural diversity of Pakistan. The event was covered by Dunya News, the leading Urdu news channel in Pakistan and the UK. One audience member exclaimed, “This isn’t just a musical concert, but an act of worship. It’s a celebration of life and it’s going to make people want to move.”
“Pakistan Society will continue to improve the image of Pakistan”
Shedding light on the event, the Secretary of the society, Jibraan Vahidy said, “Qawwali Night is an opportunity for us to promote and preserve this unique traditional musical heritage, and help us show a softer image of Pakistan.” His views were reverberated by the Events Officer, Haseeb Saya who said that this function would help us promote dialogue, cooperation and tolerance among different cultural groups. President Hadi Lakhani thanked everyone who attended the event, and also the organisers, with special mentions for Usama Saya, Anas Imran, Hamza Qureshi, Omair Malik, Hasham Jamil and Mohammed Ahmed. He reiterated that Pakistan Society will continue to improve the image of Pakistan, and strive to foster intercultural harmony among the various nations.