In Conversation: Nobovar Chanorov & the Shams Group share their love of music.
In Conversation: Nobovar Chanorov & the Shams Group share their love of music.
At the Ismaili Centre London, we sat down for a traditional chai and chat with the Shams Group, a spectacular collaboration of musicians who have been performing in their home country of Tajikistan, and across the world, for nearly twenty years. The closely-knit group, its main vocalist, Nobovar Chanorov, and its guitarist, an esteemed master of the Pamiri Setor, Iqbol Zavkibekov, shared their profound insights and stories.
Poet Ayaz Pirani on Oral Tradition, Literary Gatekeepers, and Writing Faithful Lines
Ayaz Pirani's work has been praised as "wise... surprising [and] sly" and his newest collection, Kabir’s Jacket Has a Thousand Pockets (Mawenzi House), builds on his characteristic insightful, elegant style.
Ranging from East Africa to Pakistan to India and beyond, Kabir's Jackets Has a Thousand Pockets is as unique as its title, exploring post-colonial longing and loss in a voice that brings to the page strength, wit, and deep intelligence.
We're excited to speak to Ayaz today as part of our Poets in Profile series, where we talk to poets about their new books, their first encounters with poetry, and their writing processes.
Ayaz tells us about how he discovered something unexpected when thinking about the first poem that really moved him, weighs in on whether the beginning or end of a poem is most important, and shares the best and worst parts of being a poet (his 'worst' will definitely give you a laugh!).
Poet and Speaker Shirin Ariff Launches Her Poetry Book, Keepsake, at The Aga Khan Museum
Poet and author Shirin Ariff’s debut novel is a collection of inspirational poetry that restored her sense of self. Keepsake – A Souvenir of Love, recreates the gifts of gratitude, unconditional love and...
Poet and author Shirin Ariff’s debut novel is a collection of inspirational and meditational poetry that restored her sense of self by helping her to rebuild from past experiences of adversity and illness. In her poems she recreates the gifts of gratitude, unconditional love and tranquility. Each word flows from her experience of daily meditation at the magic hour of 4 am, that she calls “me time”.
Shirin is very passionate about writing. From a very young age, she contributed her poems to the local newspapers. Over the years, her poems have graduated from being thoughtful and fun to meditative, inspirational and spiritual. Shirin’s website is full of information about her books, her poetry and her speaking.
Beautifully and richly illustrated by Graphic Design and Advertising professional Zunash Ashiqali. Keepsake is not just for avid readers of poetry, it is a spiritual experience. The pause, the breath, the slowing down from your daily hustle. It’s about who we become when we learn to be fully present.
Shirin’s book launch was a tastefully planned artistic treat. The Bellerive Room at the Aga Khan Museum was hand-picked to create the ambience of beauty and inspirational art. On a Sunday afternoon about fifty people gathered to be inspired by Shirin’s work. The event began with a beautiful video on the poet’s idea behind creating Keepsake as a “Souvenir of Love”.
#WCW Sarah Thawer’s Joyous, Versatile Jazz, Hip-Hop, Indian, and World Music Drumming
Sarah Thawer is a versatile, freelance drummer based out of Toronto, Canada, whose skillset is as long as it is varied. She’s savvy in, among other genres, jazz, Latin, gospel, hip-hop, funk, R&B, soul, fusion, Indian, Bollywood, and world music. Thawer has performed with dozens of artists, including AR Rahman, Del Hartley, D’bi and the 333, and Rich Brown, and she was recently on a two-month tour with UK hip-hop artist Watsky. Her debut album comes out this September, so be on the lookout.
Farhan Shah is an acclaimed Australian/Pakistani music producer, composer, singer and lyricist. Joining him at the festival this year is a six piece Sufi Qawalli group, the only professional traditional Qawalli group in Australia. Rooted in the mystical poetry of South Asia and the Middle East, Qawalli singing will take you to another place and time.
Since arriving in Australia in 2016 Farhan Shah has collaborated with renowned Sufi group Tahir Qawwal Australian Ensemble as singer and toured Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington and Adelaide at festivals such as Byron Spirit Fest and Salaam Fest.
In 2017, Farhan featured as singer on a track with famous DJ Shadow Dubai and has been Musical Director and composer for feature films, drama serials and the official Jubilee Games song of Team Pakistan. He has presented shows in Pakistan, Dubai, Thailand, London, Canada Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
Farhan Shah is a master of the tradition and renowned for his soaring voice.
Farhan is a phenomenal live stage performer and his understanding, adaptability and exposure to world music styles gives him an additional edge for different musical collaborations around the world.
For more information about Farham, visit his facebook page.
Extending the Jubilee Arts legacy: The National Arts Festival in Madagascar.
Following the success of the first edition of Madagascar's National Arts Festival in 2018, a second edition of the festival was organised on March 23rd at the American Centre in Antananarivo.
Jubilee Arts is a new international programme established in the Diamond Jubilee year to celebrate the global Jamat’s vast artistic skills and cultural traditions, and aims to encourage a deeper appreciation for the arts within the Jamat. Jubilee Arts provides opportunities for aspiring Ismaili artists from around the world to showcase and further develop their talents both during and beyond the Diamond Jubilee year.
Jubilee Arts is envisioned in line with Mawlana Hazar Imam’s aspiration that the full spectrum of artistic endeavour should be cultivated, developed, and promoted in the multiple traditions of the global Ismaili Jamat.
The Jubilee Arts programme culminated in Lisbon, Portugal in July 2018 through the International Arts Festival. This event allowed Ismaili talents from all over the world to come together and share their talents through a Talent Showcase, a Film Festival and an Art Gallery.
Artistic expression is therefore an opportunity for the Jamat to discover and appreciate our rich cultural traditions and plurality. In these lines, we can refer back to the dancers Shaista Nazaraly and Priya Veldjee who represented the Malagasy jurisdiction last July in Lisbon.
In the year of the 2018 Diamond Jubilee, the National Council for Madagascar organized a National Arts Festival, during which more than 100 artists participated in various forms of art such as: music, singing, dance, theatre, painting, photography, etc.
Thanks to the success of the first edition of the National Arts Festival in 2018, a second edition of this festival was organised on March 23rd at the American Centre in Antananarivo.
This festival brought together three major disciplines:
1. Visual art (painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, etc.)
2. Cinematographic art (films, documentaries, animations, etc.)
3. Stage art (dance, music, theatre, singing, etc.)
Thus, about 50 artists from the Jamat of Madagascar performed in front of more than 200 members of the Jamat for a total of 23 performances. The National Arts Festival organised last March was an opportunity to illustrate and to extend the Jubilee Arts legacy for the Malagasy jurisdiction. The National Council warmly thanks all the artists, participants and volunteers for their tireless involvement and dedication.
To the nation where Cricket is not just a game, It's a religion followed by every Indian.
Jishan Ali Thobani in association with The 2 Studios presents
World Cup Hamara Hai ( वर्ल्ड कप हमारा है। )
Singer | Music | Lyrics - Jishan Ali Thobani
Director - R.C. Rana
Director of Photography - R.C. Rana & Sahil Makhani
Choreographer - Jitumoni Kalita
Music Arrangements - Sarthak - Nakul
Mix & Master - Uttam Shah
Editor - Yash Kushwah
Di & Colorist - Sulabh Bangale
“Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.
The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp,
The lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star,
Lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree,
Neither of the east nor of the west,
Whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire.
Light upon light.
Allah guides to His light whom He wills.
And Allah presents examples for the people,
and Allah is Knowing of all things.”
Taufiq Karmali lives in Seattle USA and is one of the most adored and respected artists inTaufiq-Karmali2 the community with over 300 recorded recitals of ginans, geets, granths, qasidas and kalaams – many accompanied by music.
Taufiq is personally very involved with the actual composition and arrangement of the music in his recitals.
Taufiq is a self-taught musician and got his early inspiration listening to his father Late Hassan Karmali recite ginans.
Singing Sufi devotional renditions has been Taufiq’s passion since the age of seven. This is a journey that Taufiq undertook in a desire to express love for the Imam through passionate poetry set to beautiful music. For Taufiq, devotional music is a form of meditation.
Taufiq has recorded and performed with many community artists as well as Sufi singer Abida Parveen.
Taufiq continues to sing and record – stay tuned for many more titles and passionately delivered lines of devotional poetry from him.
Episode 1: Taufiq Karmali and Shushma Datt in Conversation
Shushma Datt interviewed Taufiq Karmali on Spice Radio during the period leading into Hazar Imam’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.
The engaging conversation (in English and Urdu) covers a wide range of subjects including what got Taufiq started on his incredible devotional musical journey. Shushma also plays a couple of Taufiq’s devotional geets in the interview.
JollyGul.com presents the interview in a podcast format for convenient on-demand access by the Jamat with courtesy of Spice Radio Vancouver. This podcast is presented by Amrit Kaur.
JollyGul.com has launched Shabnam Merali’s website on its hosting platform. The Jamat can now conveniently play and enjoy all her devotional geets and ginans in one place.
JollyGul.com audio player displays synchronized line by line lyrics and translations for some of Shabnam’s most popular geets sung in Gujarati, Urdu and Sindhi languages. The translations were commissioned by JollyGul.com and are available for the first time in the English language.
The website has the following sections: Profile, Audios, Videos, Gallery (Pics), Updates and a Contact Form.
Shabnam Merali recites Ginans, Geets, Ghazals, Qawwalis and Sufi Kalaams.
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Shabnam immigrated to Canada in the early eighties. As she began performing in concerts across North America, Shabnam replaced her accounting career with a musical one.
Shabnam gets invited to tour South Asia, East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania), Canada, USA, United Kingdom and Europe where she gives invigorating performances. She was also invited to perform Diamond Jubilee and Golden Jubilee Darbars in several countries around the world.
Internationally recognized for singing Ginans, Geets, Ghazals, Qawwalis and Sufi Kalaams, Shabnam has performed in a variety of musical platforms within the Ismaili community as well as externally for over two decades.
Shabnam has composed and released numerous albums for Geets, Sufi Kalaams, Qawwalis and Ginans such as Expressions, Khushi, Sunehra Safar, Shukran, Shaan e Ali, Ishq e Ali, Shahnama e Karimi as well as various ginan series such as Ilm e Ginan, Anant Akhado, and more.
Shabnam Merali’s various albums and geets take us through a beautiful journey of love and devotion for Mawla, paying tribute to Mawlana Hazar Imam. The compositions, musically rendered in Urdu, Gujarati, Sindhi and Farsi are a blend of Raas Garba, Cultural, Classical and Qawwali – bringing together an intense celebration of Sufic expression through a historical journey based on the Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad, historical journey of Hazar Imam, Unity and Love for Mawla.
Artistically, the melodies are a composition of various genres of devotional poetry from the Sufi and South Asian heritage allowing Shabnam’s desire to bring a global musical experience to the Ismaili Jamat worldwide. These melodies invite you into a journey through Ismaili and Islamic history with love and devotion for Hazar Imam
This poem, written shortly after the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Ismaili Centre Toronto, is meant to capture the deep meaning that spaces of community and worship can bring to our lives over time, as well as the newfound meaning we can obtain from the seemingly familiar by engaging on many different levels. This piece is a followup to the original “the centre (2014)”, available to read here.
think, if someone were to be given
a softer heart,
one that was able to feel the soul
we came when called just enough times
that the abode before us consented to transform our lives
a place where love literally throbs,
the heart and soul of the structure that is the centre of our lives
all of us have become so much more and less than we were, here.
the centre has become my centre
and has captured the centre at the centre of me
it spills over its edges into the rest of my life and
makes the rest of my life part of itself too
i am pulled here unyieldingly
as though in the arms of a vortex spinning so fast i can’t even tell
where it begins and where i end
there is nothing i feel that doesn’t get resolved
once i’ve come back to my centre;
not a single worry that isn’t smoothed, a fear that isn’t untangled
once i’ve been here at my core
the people here are like the sound inside a seashell,
telling stories of separate drops flowing together to their ultimate end,
each one making an impression on my heart
this place makes me face those things about myself that i would rather ignore,
such as my obvious unworthiness
but of course, that is exactly why i’ve come
brother, you might do it better than me
and you might know something i don’t
but i won’t hold it against you
since you are here to show me what i could be,
not what i am not
and thank God, thank you, for giving us this place
to come to.
To celebrate the milestone events of upcoming Ismaili Games around the globe, we would like to offer a tribute to all the participants and Ismaili Athletes world wide. May merit prevail, and may the best individuals and teams win!
Written, Composed, Arranged and Produced By: Kamal Haji
Co-Produced By: Dilshad Moledina-Haji and Dilshad Moledina
Performed by: Rahila Babar, Shahana Jaffer, Kamal Haji, Sarah Haji
Vocals Recorded by: Benji Gomez
Mix and Mastered by: Dallas Audio Recording Team
Video Credits: Dilshad Moledina
Image / Photo Credits: Public Domain, theIsmaili.org, nationals.usismailigames.org, Pamir Times (Diamond Jubilee Hunza Cycling Rally)
Sufi singer Farhan Shah believes that Sufi music is an evergreen flower. But still the question is whether the gardens of this flower are still blooming. What does Farhan Shah say on yesterday, today and tomorrow of this genre of music that gives the message of humanity to the world?
Farhan Shah is a Sufi singer and returned a few days ago after a musical evening at the 'Jaipur Literature Festival' held in Adelaide. Talking about his offer there, he says that he is lucky that in this literature festival he got the opportunity to bring Mausiki and Sufi music to the people, he says that he listened to the music that he heard in the morning in the event Granted
On the question whether Sufi singing also needs to be changed to reach more and more people in the changing times? Farhan says that Sufi singing is an evergreen flower. They say
"Sufi singing, its benefits, its principal, its poetry (poetry) do not change, but as the round changes, people's test, people's power of understanding keeps changing."
It is obvious that Farhan believes that there are some changes in the way of listening to Sufi music. And the association of Sufi music with other forms of music is also increasing.
Farhan says that people in Australia are understanding about the Sufi singing. He says that not only the people here have an understanding of singing but they are well aware of its history and messages.
Farhan believes that this genre of music needs to be included everywhere because it is not only music but also the message of humanity.
Hassanally G. Rammal wrote under the pen name Suman and was ranked among the most prominent and prolific geet writers in the Indian subcontinent in the 20th century.
Suman was born in Karachi in 1906. He composed over 130 geets in Gujarati, Sindhi as well as Urdu and Hindi. Some of the songs were published in 1970 in a book titled "Suman Sangraah".
Suman's compositions have been sung by prominent singers, including the notable Khursheed Nurali. Through a proliferation of recordings, the most famous being "Prem Sandesh", Suman's geets gained popularity among Ismailis worldwide, particularly those living in the United Kingdom and North America.
Suman was a versatile and talented writer, contributing articles and poems to a variety of periodicals and newspapers. In addition, he was a playwright for two drama clubs in the Ismaili and Hindu communities in Karachi.
Suman was particularly well versed with Bhakti (devotional love) and Sufi devotional poetry in various vernacular languages, a familiarity that was apparent in the ethos of his compositions.
He was a talented individual with a cosmopolitan outlook towards life. Suman was far ahead of his time. In the 21st century, we are still debating the merits of pluralism and diversity. Suman lived his life with absolute moral and intellectual clarity about these matters. He passed away in 1990.
Credits: Suman Facebook Page, Prof Ali Asani
Salgirah 2019 Programming Alert!
JollyGul.com will be presenting Suman's classic geet "Aakhi Aalam Maa(n) Naam Taaru(n) Gaajtu(n) Re" (Your Name Resounds Throughout The World) as part of this year's Salgirah celebrations lineup of videos for the Jamat.
The geet is sung by Khursheed Nurali with music by Prince Aly Khan Orchestra. The song was recorded in 1968 and remains very popular to date - a true classic! Our presentation will be in a video format with running lyrics and translations.
Video Do not miss these two legends of Ismaili geets - Suman (for his soul-touching lyrics) and Khursheed (for her amazing singing) - as they usher us all into Khushiali celebrations.
Expected launch date of the video: Early December 2019
Shahnama e karim is a lyrical composition of history of the past ten
years of The His Highness The Aga Khan.the forty ninth Imam of the
Ismaili Muslims.It about the major projects undertaken under the banner of AKDN (Aga Khan Development Network) for them to provide humanitarian support to the people living in the under privileged areas of the world.It provide assistance with out the discrimination of cast color and greed.
Taufiq Karmali - Ginan & Geet Mehfil
Vancouver BC October 2019
JollyGul.com is happy to present to the Jamat "Taufiq Karmali - Ginan & Geet Mehfil Vancouver BC October 2019"
Taufiq and his ensemble deliver 2 hours 17 minutes of memorable and spiritually uplifting performance of Ismaili devotional music consisting of ginans, geets and qasidas. The program is very engaging - Taufiq interacts with his audience throughout the program and gives meanings and context of the recitations in various instances.
The program starts off with recitation of popular ginan Sayyed Mohamed Shaah's "Saaheb Ji Tu(n) More Man Bhaave" (O my Lord! You are the one I adore) by special request from the local Jamati leaders in honor of our Imam-e-Zaman.
There is a very special moment when a young member of the Jamat joins Taufiq to sing a couple of qasidas. It is very gratifying to see these values instilled in the next generation of Ismailis.
Taufiq's rendition of Pir Sadardin's "Aasmaanee Ta(m)bal Vaajeeya" (The sounds of heavenly drums are heard) brought some in the Jamat close to tears. And a request for Golden Jubilee classic geet with lyrics by Irfan Gowani and musical composition by Mujahid Hussain "Ik khat likhenge ham, Mawla ke naam" (A letter we shall write to Mawla) was another emotional moment of the evening.
The program concludes with a medley of verses from popular ginans and finally the compelling "Dama Dam Mast Qalandar" a spiritual Sufi song written by Amir Khusrow in the honor of the most revered Sufi saint of Sindh, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.
The program is very entertaining, motivating, inspiring and spiritually uplifting. Highly recommended to be watched when you are in a relaxed frame of mind with a dedicated block of time. You have a "front-row seat" on-demand with this video.
Thank you very much Vancouver Jamat for making this possible - you rock!
JollyGul.com: Aakhi Aalam Maa(n) By Khursheed (Salgirah 2019 Special Presentation)
JollyGul.com is presenting classic devotional geet “Aakhi Aalam Maa(n) Naam Taaru(n) Gaajtu(n) Re” (Your Name Resounds Throughout The World) to mark the beginning of Salgirah 2019 celebrations. We will be releasing a number of videos for the Jamat throughout the month of December 2019 to mark this very happy occasion of Hazar Imam’s 83rd birthday.
The Aakhi Aalam Maa(n) geet is sung by Khursheed Nurali with music by Prince Aly Khan Orchestra. The lyrics are written by Hassanally G. Rammal (Suman). The song was originally recorded in 1968 and remains very popular to date – a true classic! Our presentation is in a video format with running lyrics and translations.
Khursheed Nurali is Tanzanian by birth and was trained by Ustad Hafeez Ahmed Khan, Ustad Umrao Bundu Khan and Ustad Phool Mohammad Khan. Khursheed began singing professionally at the age of fourteen. Within a few years, she was performing on Radio Pakistan, playback singing in Pakistani Films, and had her own monthly TV show in Dhaka.
With a voice that has been ringing through the ears of her listeners for decades; Khursheed has been blessed with the opportunity to perform for the community and Hazar Imam numerous times throughout her life. Khursheed currently resides in Vancouver, Canada.
Hassanally G. Rammal wrote under the pen name Suman and was ranked among the most prominent and prolific geet writers in the Indian subcontinent in the 20th century. Suman was born in Karachi in 1906. He composed over 130 geets in Gujarati, Sindhi as well as Urdu and Hindi. He passed away in 1990.
Khursheed Nurali and Suman are two towering figures in the Ismaili devotional geet scene.
Shahnama e Karim is a lyrical composition of history of the past ten
years of The His Highness The Aga Khan.the forty ninth Imam of the
Ismaili Muslims.It about the major projects undertaken under the banner of AKDN (Aga Khan
JollyGul.com presents Shabnam Merali's devotional geet Aaje Avsar Aaviya Che Sohamnaa Re (The auspicious occasion is here). This is a continuation of series of videos for the Jamat to celebrate Salgirah 2019.
Shabnam has performed in a variety of musical platforms within the Ismaili community as well as externally for over two decades. She is recognized internationally for singing ginans, geets, ghazals, qawwalis and Sufi kalaams.
Shabnam has composed and released numerous albums - Expressions, Khushi, Sunehra Safar, Shukran, Shaan e Ali, Ishq e Ali, Shahnama e Karimi as well as various ginan series such as Ilm e Ginan, Anant Akhado and more.
The devotional geet Aaje Avsar Aaviya Che Sohamnaa Re (The auspicious occasion is here) is part of the Shukran Diamond Jubilee USA album. The lyrics are written by Alwaez Z Jessani and music performed by Alnoor Jinah Orchestra.
#Salgirah2019: Heaven and Nature Celebrate His 83- Poem by Zafeera Kassam
BY ISMAILIMAIL POSTED ON DECEMBER 12, 2019
Special Poem Presentation by Zafeera Kassam in celebration of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan’s 83rd Birthday.
Heaven and Nature Celebrate His 83
On a cold Sunday in picturesque Geneva,
13th December 1936 or the 28th day of Ramadan 1355 AH,
Winter sang a song of fire and ice evince
heralding the birth of a healthy Prince.
Eighty three years forward, the notches of wonder innumerable,
from reciting Namaz at 7 to being a left-footed Soccer miracle;
from skiing in the Olympics to constructing Costa Smeralda ground up,
to rewriting history with Shergar’s win of the Epsom Derby Cup.
Memorable was the way in which he saved Ismailis and Asians alike
evicted unjustly from Uganda like the jews from the Third Reich.
And generous the humanitarian aid from mountainous Tajikistan to war-torn Syria,
from alleviating poverty to nurturing urban gardens complete with Chinese Wisteria.
Yet so much remains untold, unknown of His architecture
of globalization and modernization, civil society and infrastructure;
From Aga Khan Foundation to Aga Khan Trust for Culture,
from Focus to Music, education, health and even agriculture.
He holds the reigns to this world –
secular, religious, ethereal, all intertwined and twirled.
To some a prince, to others a King;
To some a billionaire, to others Khudavind;
To some an enigma, others – love and grace personified:
the very reason the heart beats with pride.
He is whom you believe Him to be
But along with you and me, heaven and nature celebrate His 83.
Zafeera Kassam is an Ismaili murid and teacher by profession, living in Nairobi. She hopes to be continuously inspired to write praises of our beloved Hazar Imam for as long as she can.
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