Arts Council pays tribute to Sabri

Family, friends and fans share stories, candles lit in honour of Sabri


Amjad Sabri’s family performed during the condolence reference to commemorate him. PHOTO: PERVAIZ MAZHAR/EXPRESS

KARACHI: A sense of gloom prevailed as the voice of qawwal Amjad Sabri, reciting his last naat 'Jab Waqt Naza Aye' during a Sehri transmission, echoed in the auditorium of Karachi Arts Council on Friday evening.

The Arts Council held a condolence reference to pay tribute to the slain, iconic qawwal. Many notable people belonging to different fields gathered to pay tribute to the departed soul.

Amjad Sabri did not receive any threats: brother

"I used to come along with my father and uncle during recordings of different qawwalis at the Pakistan Television (PTV) studio," recalled veteran television producer Bakhtiar Ahmed, who was also associated with PTV. Ahmed added that he had seen a spark in Sabri that showed how he [Sabri] will be the one to carry forward the legacy of the Sabri family.

The auditorium was filled with Sabri's close family, friends and fans, many of whom shared moments they had had with Sabri. Sarwat and Talha Sabri, the late qawwal's brothers, were also invited.

"I used to scold him [Sabri] for several reasons but he never got offended and instead, he showed more respect," recalled screenwriter Muhammad Ahmed, adding that the respect that Sabri used to show to everyone around him was impressive

"June 22 was certainly an unfortunate day in the history of Pakistan when target killers snatched Amjad away from us," said actor and musician Arshad Mehmood, recalling the day Sabri was killed. Not only were the people from showbiz heartbroken, but every peaceful Pakistani was shattered, he added.

Artists pay tribute to qawwali maestro Amjad Sabri

"It was Sabri's effort of more than 15 years that made Sufi music popular among the youth of Pakistan," pointed out writer and intellectual Aliya Imam. Light overcomes darkness and Sabri was the light of the new generation, she added.

Sarwat thanked the audience for their great words for his slain brother. People have shown great respect towards their [Sabri] family, said Sarwat.

Arts Council will soon announce a tribute show for Sabri where all notable qawwal of the country will be invited to perform, announced Arts Council chairman admin committee Ahmed Shah.

Candles were lit by the audience at the end of the condolence reference to honour and remember Sabri.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2016.

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