Music is food for the soul, something a formidable number of Pakistanis had been left bereft of till Coke Studio initiated a commendable venture enabling people with little or no hearing ability to experience music.
There is little doubt that no other music show matches the quality and diversity of Coke Studio, which is heard nationwide. However, nine million hearing-impaired individuals miss out on the experience, every season.
Family Educational Services Foundation, a non-profit organisation striving to improve the lives of the disadvantaged, along with the Coca-Cola Company, organised Coke Studio for the Deaf at Marriott’s Marquee Hall in this context.
The event kicked off with a heart touching rendition of the national anthem in sign language by students of the Deaf Reach School. Muzna Siddique, the host of the event, delivered an eloquent welcome speech as a sign language interpreter conveyed her message to the special.
Coca Cola brand manager Ibrahim Jhagra and Family Educational Services Foundation Richard Geary eulogised legendary late qawwal Amjad Sabri.
“It was an honour for us to have Sabri at Coke Studio 9, we will play his last recordings in the season, as it begins,” Jhagra said.
Recalling his experience with the maestro, Geary said, “He was a friend, he used to help finance initiatives for the social good.”
Jhagra went onto say, “For the first time, it is not about glamour, it is about people. Coke Studio for the Deaf aims at breaking barriers and giving back.”
And then came the most awaited moment of the event with Coke Studio for the Deaf being screened. The Coca Cola brand team took eight students and Deaf Reach School faculty to Bangkok to test an exclusive system which enables special people to feel music.
At the heart of the unique studio-like set up is a special sofa embedded with hundreds of vibrating engines and LED lights synced with the sound of the song being played.
It is truly a captivating sight to watch students groove to Quratulain Baloch’s Sammi Meri Waar and Atif Aslam’s Tajdar-i-Haram as they feel music for the first time in their life.
Watch the video:
Sharing her experience, one of the eight students, Huda Muahmmad Ali said, “When I sat on the sofa and the music started, I felt some vibrations in my legs and heart. They were intermittent. That made me feel the waves of music. It felt so good.”
Huda revealed she wished to understand songs. “I really want to interpret lyrics as well, I wish that can be possible,” she said. The 17-year-old girl expressed her desire to hear Coke Studio 9.
People from all walks of life, including businessmen, journalists, fashion designers and students thronged to the event.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Udaari actor Ahsan Khan said, “We can never understand the feelings of the underprivileged. One cannot ostracise them. They deserve to experience everything beautiful. We should take everyone together.”
Diyar e Dil singer Zeb Bangash said, “I have always been proud being a part of Coke Studio. With this event, my pride has reached next level as they have reached out these new audiences.”
“I believe it’s a fantastic concept. Who would have thought this will be possible someday? I believe we should make it sustainable,” an excited Deepak Pervani told The Express Tribune.
Vocalists Junaid Khan and actor Muzna Ibrahim were among those present on the occasion.
Coke Studio 9 is expected to commence in August.
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