Archive for March 27, 2011

  Ali Palh -LL.M, Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University
‘Umeed-e-Sahar’ or ‘Hope for a new dawn,’ a charity concert with Salman Ahmad and Shahram Azhar, was organized by Harvard University students and held at Leverette House Dining Hall, 8 Mill Street, Cambridge, MA on Saturday, March 26, from 8:30 to 10:30 pm. However, it exceeded and continued till 11:15 pm on public demand. Later, audiences spent some time with both singers and preserved this beautiful moment with Salman and Shahram in the eye of cameras. The primary purpose of holding the concert was to collect funds for the benefit of the flood victims of Pakistan. Of course, it served other purposes as well, including entertainment, bringing Pakistanis, Indians and other South Asians together and spreading the word of peace and harmony across the world. It really did highlight the plight of Pakistanis affected by the floods and let the world know that the extent of the disaster is higher than reported. All funds collected from the concert were donated to Salman and Samina Global Wellness Initiative for the welfare of families affected by the recent flood in Pakistan. Global Wellness Initiative (SSGWI), is currently working to rehabilitate flood affected families in Pakistan. For More information about Global Wellness Initiative please click
Salman thanking organizers; Suhas and Zoreen Ibrahim

Salman Ahmad, a popular Pakistani singer who was born and brought up in Lahore, got his early education from Aitchison College, Lahore. He is one of South Asia’s most influential cultural figures. He is a musician, physician and United Nations goodwill ambassador. His band, Junoon, has sold over 25 million albums worldwide and has shared the stage with artists such as Melissa Etheridge, Alicia Keys, Sting, Earth Wind and Fire, and Wyclef Jean. The evening started with the awesome performance of Shahram Azhar, the lead vocalist of the up and coming Pakistan musical band, Laal. Shahram told me that he is from Rawalpindi and when I told him that I am from Hyderabad, he greeted me as, “Sain, Chal Hal Ahin?” “How are you sir?” a particular Sindhi way in which people greet each other in Sindh. In just a short span of one year, Shahram and his band have gained national as well as international recognition for their song, Main Nay Kaha, a satirical poem composed in the 1960′s by Habib Jalib, and their album ‘Umeed e Sahar’.

Salman Ahmad & Ali Palh

Habib Jalib was a revolutionary poet, a staunch democrat who opposed martial law, authoritarianism and state oppression through his provoking poetry. Habib Jalib was the first who was imprisoned during the martial regime of Ayub Khan due to his defiant views and poetry on Ayub Khan’s dictatorial policies. One of his legendary poems “Dastoor,” in English, “System,” he wrote in defiance of Ayub Khan, jolting his regime.

دیپ جس کا محلات ہی میں جلے  (Deep jis ka mahlat hee me jale)

 چند لوگوں کی خوشیوں کو لے کر چلے (Chand logon ki khushiyun ko le kar chale)

وہ جو سایےمیں ہر مصلحت کے پلے  (We jo sae mein har maslihat ke pale)

ایسے دستور کو، صبح بےنور کو (Aise Dastur Ko, Subah Be noor ko)

میں نہیں مانتا،میں نہیں مانتا  (mein nahi manta, mein nahi manta)


Whose light shines only in palaces

And carries the joys of only a few people

That derives its strength from others’ weaknesses

That system, like a dawn without light

I refuse to acknowledge, I refuse to accept


 When Shahram sang ‘Main ne us se ye kaha’ the audience became emotionally charged and the whole hall was echoing with applause. The song went:


Main ne us se ye kaha

ye jo das crore hain,

jehl ka nichor hain

inki fikr so gayi

har umeed ki kiran,

zulmaton me kho gai

ye khabar darust hai,

inki mot ho gai


be shaoor log hain

zindagi ka rog hain

aur tere paas hai

inke dard ki dawa

Main ne us se ye kaha


tu khuda ka noor hai

akl hai, shaoor hai

qaum tere saath hai

tere hi!, hi!, hi!, wajood se

mulk ki nijaat hai

tu hai mehr-e-subh-e-nau

tere baad raat hai!

bolte jo chand hain

sab ye shar pasand hain!

inki khainch le zabaan

inka ghoont de gala


Maine ne us se ye kaha

Maine ne us se ye kaha


jin ko tha zaban pe naaz

chup hain wo zaban daraaz

chain hai samaaj me

bemisaal fark hai

kal me aur aaj me

apne kharch par hain log

kaid tere raaj me


Maine ne us se ye kaha

Maine ne us se ye kaha


cheen apna yar hai

us pe jan nisar hai

par wahan jo hai nizaam

us taraf na jaayio

us ko door se salaam


das crore ye gadhe

jin ka naam hai awaam

kia banain ge hukmaran

tu!, tu!, tu! yaqeen hai ye gumaan

apni to dua hai ye

sadr tu rahe sada


Maine ne us se ye kaha

Maine ne us se ye kaha

 You can hear the same poety by Jalib himself at http://

When Salman and Shahram started singing together, it felt like Indus and Kabul river are meeting at Attok, district connects two provinces (Punjab and Khaibar Pakhtun Kha) of Pakistan.

Songs: O laal meri pat rakhio bala jhoole laalan, Sindri da Sehvan da, sakhi Shabaaz kalandar, Dama dam mast kalandar, Ali dam dam de andar

(O the red robed, May I always have your benign protection, Jhulelal (as he was affectionately called ). O, the lord,the friend and the Sire of Sindh and Sehwan ( or Serwan ),The red robed God-intoxicated Qalandar, The lord in every breath of mine, glory unto to you).

Shrine of Lal Qalandar Shahbaz

Both Salman and Shahram performed following songs together.

Songs: O laal meri pat rakhio bala jhoole laalan, Sindri da Sehvan da, sakhi Shabaaz kalandar, Dama dam mast kalandar, Ali dam dam de andar

(O the red robed, May I always have your benign protection, Jhulelal (as he was affectionately called ). O, the lord,the friend and the Sire of Sindh and Sehwan ( or Serwan ),The red robed God-intoxicated Qalandar, The lord in every breath of mine, glory unto to you)

This has been one of the most favorite song of the audiences in every function. It has also been a most favourite with all singers. Be it Abida Perveen, Shazia Khush, Salman, Ustad Nusrat Ali, Madam Noor Jahan, Sabri Brothers, Lata, Jagjit or Runa laila.

Shahram Azhar

Shahram Azhar, has its own sweet voice and distinguished mystic style which force audiences to move heads on the rhythem of music.

After Shahram, Salman Ahmad was warmly welcome by the audience. Salman really knows what audience want. He is not only a good singer but also a very good speaker. he knows the art of engaging people. He started from Ameer Khusro and sang ‘OM TUM TANA’ and linked to World Cup between Pakistan and India by singing ‘Yaro Yahi Dosti He’ (Dude!! Thats friendship).

Why United Nation selected Salman Ahmad its ‘Peace Ambassador’ is understandable because a singer and an artist can spread a message farther, more effectively and more efficiently. Salman Ahmad in his song Ghoom Tana has really depicted the situation of 1947 –partition of India and Pakistan. You can easily feel the intensity of pain people endured during the division of Patiala (East) and Lahore Western Punjab.

Ali Rizvi & Ahmed Jhaveri with Salman Ahmad

Salman knows what audiences are up to and what they want to listen and enjoy. Seems he lives in the beat of people’s heart.

Chura liya hai tumne jo dil ko

Nazar nahin churaana sanam

Badalke meri tum zindagaani

Kahin badal na jaana sanam

Oh, le liya dil, oh haai mera dil

Haai dil lekar mujhko na behlaana


You have already stolen my heart and after stealing it do not disappear,

You have taken my heart and after taking it do not deceive me…

You have changed my life and after changing it please dont be changed.


Being at Harvard University campus, listening to Habib Jalib by Salman and Shahram revealed the wisdom of the organizers for choosing Harvard as the place for this beautiful evening. 


Harvard University campus is central and easily accessible by T (underground train) or even by buses for all Pakistanis and South Asians, who study at different schools, colleges and universities of Boston. In addition, Harvard University campus has its own magic. Its campus is so beautiful and romantic while the architecture of each building you see on campus is amazing. It reminded me of Pakistan’s Jamshoro, a hilly area on the bank of the Indus River, where three universities of Sindh, Mehran Engineering University, Sindh University and Liaqat Medical University, are located. One visit of Harvard square makes you fresh and revitalizes you if you ever get stressed or exhausted after reading 300 pages of your law course like me. Music at Harvard and that Jalib’s poetry by Salman and Shahram washed away from my soul the dust of everyday life.

Ain, Sana, Ilyas and other students

Programme ended around 11:15 pm. Total number of participants were in hundres. Among them were Suhas rao, Zoreen Ibrahim, Zohaib Mahmood, Ali Palh, Ilyas Khawaja, Syed Ali Rizvi, Aiul Momina, Anjum Taj, Ibrahim Khan, Mohummad Hanif Jhanveri, Aamir Mian, Afrah Shafqat, Afshah Shafqat, Ali Naveed, Noor Nasreen Ibrahim, Anisha Shenai, Anjali Bhati, Bilal and other distinguished guests. Before I end here, I would like to appreciate young organizers who made efforts, contacted Salman Ahmad and Sharam and held this event. Through this many flood affected Pakistani families will get their homes which to me is not mere a roof and four walls but someone’s right to privacy, security and right to life. Will guarnatee both physical as well emotional security of Pakistani families. To these organizers, singers and those who participated and contributed for this cause, my salute.