Naeemullah Khan

پښتو :: پښتانه :: پښتونخواه :: پښتونوالی

Naeemullah Khan, Sher Alam Shinwari
Published in Khyber.ORG on Friday, September 16 2005 (

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Naeemullah Khan

Sher Alam Shinwari

Publishing Date: Friday, September 16 2005

Pashto language enjoys a rich collection of music. It has its roots in Pashto folk poetry that in its very essence is musical. Pakhtoon is born with religion and music.

His love for both is unflinching. There was a time when Pakhtoon Hujra was considered to be incomplete without Mangay and Rabab. Many remarkable changes have occurred in the life style of Pakhtoons at the turn of the twentieth century. It is interesting and at the same time surprising that Pakhtoons love Art but hate the Artist as pointed out by Ghani Khan also in his famous book "Pathans A Sketch".

However, some restless souls in spite of social, cultural and traditional barriers channelize their feelings and emotions through different outlets of art. Naeemullah is one such restless soul whose snorting turned into articulated strings of music that is both thrilling as well as innovative. A pencil thin, young and handsome Naeem grabbed a Harmonium and started playing it with a professional smile on his face drenched in his sincerity and love for Pashto music. He was born to an aristocratic family in 1975 at village Kass Bilyamine; Kurrum Agency. After having done his B.A from Govt.

Degree College Parachinar in 1995 Naeem took Masters degree in social work in 1997 followed by M.A. English as a private candidate from University of Peshawar recently.

He was in class 5 when music cast its magic effects on his mind. Naeem used to snort out some famous songs of the time and would face occasional snub from his elders. But he grew up with his natural flair for music. "Since my School days I have exhausted all the classical poets of Pashto.I drew inspiration from Khushhal Khan Khattak, Rahman Baba, Ali Khan, Hamid Baba and Kazim Khan Shida.I also read contemporary poets like Amir Hamza Khan Shinwar, Ghani Khan, QalandarMoomand, Ajmal Khattak, Rahmat Shah Sail, Sahir Afridi, and Salma Shaheen not only that I have developed personal friendship with these poets." Naeem observed.

When Radio Station was established in Peshawar in 1935 Pashto music touched new heights. Khial Mohammed introduced ghazal singing but since then no new trend was set in Pashto music except Haroon Bacha's new experience with tapa

"I want to focus on the content of poetry rather than on music because I believe that quality poetry is a must for quality music. We have the equals of Ahmed Faraz, Faiz, Nasir Kazmi, Sahir Ludhyanvi and Parveen Shahkir but unfortunately our poets have not been exposed to the general masses through music that is the main reason behind the immature and bad taste for Pashto music. We need to explore new aspects of Pashto music by selecting quality poetry." He wished. Naeem got a clandestine permission from his family members when he made his debut in music by bringing out an album Puhantoon this year in June.

It received a lot of public applause and appreciation so much so that he was interviewed by Peshawar chapter of BBC World Service. PTV, Peshawar had also offered him in 1997 to display his talent but at time he was busy in his studies. "Very often it is only substandard poetry and mediocre singers who are encrouaged on media. I am up here to revolutionize Pashto music. My ideal in music is Nashnas whose voice has freshness and vigor though I have adopted my own way. My first album opens with Atanr a dance tune and ghazals of some leading poets like Hamza Baba, Khushal Baba, Rahmat Shah Sail, Salma Shaheen, GuharRahman Guhar, Abdul Bari Jahani Sahir Afridi and Hakam Jan Friadi I have learnt the prons and cons of music from Humayuon Sakhi now settled in U.S.His yuonger brother Parvez Sakhi has composed the music of my first album.

If there is vision and sincerity there would be definitely a positive change he argued. New electronic instruments have added colour to our music but many of our composers do not have the proper skill of blending it with the original tunes of Pashto.

Naeem was of the view that there should be a strong sponsorship which should promote quality music as well as encourage the youngsters. He does not want to adopt music as a profession but strongly desirous to attract the educated Pakhtun youth to enjoy Pashto music. He is hopeful that his second album will also prove better than the first one which is expected to zoom in the near future.


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Naeemullah Khan, Sher Alam Shinwari
Published in Khyber.ORG on Friday, September 16 2005 (