Love and peace: Remembering Daniel Pearl with music

Concert held by US consulate to spread harmony, tolerance

The Sketches play in remembrance of slain journalist and music lover Daniel Pearl before an audience of hundreds. PHOTO: AYESHA MIR/ EXPRESS

KARACHI: To celebrate the legacy of Daniel Pearl, a concert was held on Tuesday at the US consul-general's residence near Frere Hall.

Pearl, an American journalist, was slain in Karachi in 2002 after being kidnapped while on assignment.

Several speeches were delivered before the two bands, The Sketches and Sounds of Kolachi began to play in remembrance of the journalist and music lover before an audience of hundreds.

US deputy chief of mission Jonathan Pratt, who flew in for the event from Islamabad, informed that he has been posted in Pakistan for six years.  "I am very excited tonight and as we are honouring his legacy, I am sure Daniel Pearl's family will be very happy as well."

"Daniel Pearl promoted respect and understanding with his love of different cultures, friendly smile, and appreciation of music," said Pratt. "I think everyone here tonight can identify with that."

"Like those who lost their lives to the [recent] attack in Quetta, Daniel Pearl also lost his life to an attack," said US Consul-General Grace Shelton. "We are paying tribute to him and to those who lost their lives in the Quetta attack by holding a concert in his memory as Pearl promoted tolerance, respect and understanding. So let's join together in harmony, with music…to promote love and peace!"

"Our music and poetry are laced with Sufi poetry. More than what I can say, let my music enlighten you," said Saif Samejo, master fusionist of The Sketches. "The words rendered here are of the poetic works of Baba Bulleh Shah, Sachal Sarmast and Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai. Sindh is known to be the land of Sufis, let our music reflect that tonight," he told the audience before beginning.

Ahsan Bari, the lead vocalist of Sounds of Kolachi, said they were a relatively new group that performs contemporary and fusion music. "Our ideology is based on promotion of peace and love against extremism," he said.

The theme of this year's Daniel Pearl World Music Day concert was 'Harmony for Humanity', which supports diversity with the hope that music can bridge differences.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2016.


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