Pakistanis were enjoying the blessings of Ramadan last year when devastating news broke out of the assassination of probably Pakistan’s most revered qawal since Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan- Amjad Sabri. Exactly a year on, it was announced that the Sindh government would be opening up a Qawali Institute, named after the iconic singer, set to be opened in the coming months.
The Sindh government, under the Ministry of Culture, had been contemplating establishing an institute to promote Sufi teachings and art forms in the province which is rich in cultural history of Sufism and mysticism. This is why the chairman of the PPP, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari ordered a three-member committee to be formed which would be responsible for this task, and also to promote Sufi teachings as part of the curriculum in educational institutes. The committee includes senior PPP officials Nisar Khoro, Sharmila Farooqi and Dr. Qayum Soomro.
An event was recently held to mark the inauguration of the plan, for which the Ministry of Culture-Sindh collaborated with the organizers of the event. Amjad Sabri’s wife, mother, children and brothers were invited to the event, amongst other distinguished guests, who participated actively and wholeheartedly in the event, as veteran qawals, Abu Mohammad and Farid Ayaz took the stage to perform some mesmerizing numbers.
Mr Shah said when chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari visited Amjad Sabri’s home, he had made a commitment that he’d make a qawwali institute named after Sabri. He said as per the recently announced budget Amjad Sabri Qawwali Institute has come into being and will start functioning in August.He claimed now the art form had the support of an institute and hoped that the Arts Council would assist in coming up with a syllabus for the purpose. At that juncture, Ahmed Shah sought Farid Ayaz’s views on the idea and the renowned qawwal responded by saying he would love to lend a helping hand to the setup in any capacity he could.
The establishment of the institute not only allows the iconic qawal’s legacy to live on forever, it is also an example of how hard work and mastery of the craft is appreciated even after you have left for the life hereafter. Well deserved, Sabri sahab!