An Interview with Bahar Ali

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An Interview with Bahar Ali, L.N Mallick
Published in Khyber.ORG on Tuesday, January 16 2007 (

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An Interview with Bahar Ali

L.N Mallick

Publishing Date: Tuesday, January 16 2007

Noted Pakhtun singer Bahar Ali says that the ghazal and other forms of classical singing are still very popular among masses and it will be wrong to say that the classical singing has become old-fashioned. Ali, who is one among the most popular and highly regarded singers of the frontier province of Pakistan, is currently on a two week tour to Doha. Through his deep-throated voice and special style of singing, he has received wide acclamation in Pakistan as well as outside of nation. Speaking to Qatar Tribune, Ali 42, said: "Ghazal and other forms of classical singing are still very popular among masses and it's absolutely wrong to suggest that classical singing is becoming out-fashioned and number of it's listeners was dwindling."

The response to the classical singing and music from audience shows that it still strikes a chord among listeners. The noted singer felt that more and more classical musicians and performers should visit Doha to strengthen the musical traditions among the large number of expatriates from India and Pakistan. On the audience response to his style of singing in his part of the world, Ali termed his maiden visit to Qatar highly successful. Ali hails from village Raeesan in Hangu district. He is recipient of various awards and honour including the one recently accorded to him by the Abaseen Arts Council, Peshawar. Ali gave his maiden performance in Doha at musical concert organized by the Pak Pashto Adabi Tolana, a literary forum working for the promotion of Pashto language and literature in Qatar, at Doha Jadeed area recently.

"I couldn't believe that there were so many admirers of my songs in Qatar," he said.

Ali has given a number of shows on Pakistan Television (PTV). He has been singing since 1977 and has recorded 220 songs for Kohat and Peshawar radio stations. Pashto language is widely spoken in Pakistan and Afghanistan. There are two major dialects of Pashto: Western Pashto spoken in Afghanistan and in the capital, Kabul, and Eastern Pashto spoken in northeastern Pakistan. The highlight of the programme was the use of traditional musical instruments like rabab and banjo, which added colour to the concert.

Ali thanked PPAT's president Feroz Afridi for organizing the concert and honouring him.Ali, who learned the rudiments of classical singing from his father, Ustad Kameen Ali, proved beyond doubt tht he could sing any form of music be it ghazals, tappas or songs with equal maturity and perfection. Ali said he had a natural flair for singing since childhood and believed in centuries old rich Pakhtoon traditions. Asked who was his favourite Pashto singer, Ali replied: "Well, it's very difficult to name one singer as I am impressed with the singing-style of a number of singers such as Khayal Mohammad, Kishwar Sultan, Gulnar Begum, Ahmad Ali."

Ali's brother Moin Ali is also a famed singer. Ali said that he had always focused on the content of poetry along with music as he believed that quality poetry is must for quality music. His favourite poets include Ghani Khan, Khatir Afridi, Ahmad Gul, Rahman Baba, Khushal Khan Khattak and Hamza Shinwari. He has strived almost all the genre of Pashto poetry, he said. Ali lamented the non-existence of music training institutions in Pakistan. He contradicted the general nation that now a days more people were getting inclined towards pop and Western music.


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An Interview with Bahar Ali, L.N Mallick
Published in Khyber.ORG on Tuesday, January 16 2007 (