ISLAMABAD: Pakistani artistes were greeted warmly, welcomed with smiles and enjoyed the rich hospitality of the Chinese everywhere their China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Cultural Caravan visited in China.
Renowned artist Gulab Khel Afridi who was part of the eight Pakistani artistes who travelled to China with the Cultural Caravan, sharing his experience said that “We were loved by people everywhere we went with the Cultural Caravan in China”.
He said programmes like CPEC Cultural Caravan should be held more frequently as art has no religion or language and it has the power to bring people from diverse backgrounds together. Gulab Khel Afridi born and raised in Bara Kadim Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, garnered widespread fame for being a professional Rubab player and has represented Pakistan in over 20 countries including Qatar, UAE Dubai, Lebanon, S. Korea and UK. Gulab plays folklore and classical style Rubab. Gulab said that language was an issue but we made sure that it did not become a barrier for us to develop familiarity with our Chinese friends. “We had a great time together and since we were the hosts, the onus was on us to take good care of our guest artistes and we did” he said. Gulabkhel has performed with various popular Urdu and Pashto singers including Humaira Channa, Hamid Ali Khan, Shabnam Majeed, Taj Mastani, Khayal Muhammad, Gulzar Alam and many others, besides Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata. He has participated in musical concerts in Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Islamabad and Multan. Gulab Khan also runs an academy, located in Peshawar that goes with the name of Gulab Rubab Academy which gives online classes.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2018.