News Column

KSA provides space for expats to come together

May 7, 2014

Arab News, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

May 07--JEDDAH -- Jeddah witnessed a memorable get-together of at least two dozen multicultural artists, who gathered recently to bid farewell to Mirza Zakaulla Baig Chisti, a popular artist, at the Rehma banquet hall.

Organized by Rohail Khan, social worker and philanthropist, the event drew several cultural artistes of different hues from Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian expat communities.

"Saudi Arabia provides a unique space for community members of the subcontinent, including India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, to come together and forge an unflinching alliance, which is normally not possible anywhere else," said Khan, who is also the chairman of Musical Extravaganza Inc.

"We become one united force here, eradicating our respective geographical boundaries," he said. "Music and Urdu literature is our cultural heritage."

Indeed, preserving and promoting this heritage is the aim of this motley group of cultural artists that included poets, singers, composers and event organizers, said Khan.

He described the congregation as a "bouquet of flowers" from the three subcontinent nations.

Khan stressed the need to promote and protect cultural traditions and heritage.

Engaged in identifying new talent from all walks of life and in organizing special socio-cultural events, Khan launched many artists including Chishti.

Chishti, who worked as senior IT executive the last 20 years, has passion for semi-classical music and had earned considerable recognition among the South Asian diaspora for his ghazals and geets.

Chisti was presented with a gift of a copy of the Holy Qur'an, an "ajrak" shawl and a memento.

Participants were given souvenirs consisting of ajwa dates and DVDs of previous events.

Attendees included Tariq Raheem, Nadeem Goshi, Imran Qureshi, Shariq Islam Mani, Maher Siddiqui, Imtiaz Sharif, Afroze Khan, Bassam Peeran, Nazmul Islam Hira, Altaf Almelkar, Abdul Rafay, Syed Mashood, Ahmed Khan, Lateef, Jamal Pasha, Amjad Baig, Zahid Siddiqi, Farid Ali Khan, Mohammed Al-Mohammadi, Azhar Butt, JD Siddiqui, Raeesa Aamir and Rehna Saleem.


(c)2014 the Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

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Source: Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

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