Singapore Pakistani Association (SPA) was founded in 1948 with the aim of providing a platform for Pakistanis in Singapore to come together and have a way to remain in touch with our Pakistani roots. Today, the Association’s members include Singaporeans, Permanent Residents, Pakistanis working in Singapore, short-term visitors and Pakistani students. Activities have included collaborations with Singapore Heritage Board, major concerts featuring Pakistani artistes, fund-raisers, donation drives and cultural gatherings. Proceeds from these activities have been directed towards different charitable causes.
On 5th May 2012, Singapore Pakistani Association had a Jashn ‘Celebrating the Rhythms and Colors of the Indus’ at Ritz-Carlton, Singapore. This event was in aid of PPIS (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association) in Singapore, and The Indus Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan. It started off with a fashion show featuring the collections of top Pakistani designers, Faiza Samee, Noorjehan Bilgrami and Amin Gulgee. Faiza Samee, Noorjehan Bilgrami and Frieha Altaf well known Pakistani Producer /Choreographer and Catwalk Production & Event Management coordinated the designers and artist from Pakistan, flew in to Singapore for this event, along with Ayesha Tammy Haq who hosted the event and Izdyeyar Setna, photographer.
The fashion show was followed by a live auction of Pakistani carpets, Pashmina shawls, work by Pakistani painters, apparel by the featured designers and jewellery. Finally, the show was brought to a close with a concert by Pakistani artists Zeb and Haniya. Zeb and Haniya’s music speaks to a shared base of human experience. Evoking the rich and textured sound scapes of West Asia they have carved out a space for music that transcends national boundaries.
The event was a formal sit-down dinner attended by 350 guests. Attendees included former President of Singapore, Mr. S.R.Nathan and Mrs Nathan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mr Masagos Zulkifli, High Commissioner for Pakistan. HE Mr Syed Hasan Javed and other distinguished dignitaries and heads of diplomatic missions.
The opening show was conducted with the work of Noorjehan Bilgrami.
Noorjehan Bilgrami is known for her wide-ranging contribution to the world of arts and crafts in Pakistan. She is one of the founders of the prestigious Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi and was its first Executive Director.
Followed by Amin Gulgee. Gulgees work of art was exhibited with wardrobe by Zaheer Abbas. Amin working primarily in copper and bronze he has exhibited in the US, Europe, Middle East, Far East and most recently in Singapore. Amin has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Presidents Pride of Performance.
The grand finale by Faiza Samee with her beautiful color combinations, intricate threadwork, and delicate block prints and exquisite embroideries have been gracing the women of Pakistan for years. No stranger to the ramp her collections have made her famous internationally and much in demand for the brilliance of her craftsmanship and passion for craft revival of ancient techniques. The collection takes inspiration of the courtesans of the walled city of Lahore, the days when the nawabs ruled and the courtesan was a poet a singer and a dancer, a time where she was famous for her beauty, grace, refined taste and intellect.
ZEB and HANIYA Get Singapore Swinging!!
ZEB and HANIYA, the world renowned band from Pakistan was the crowd pulling after dinner highlight of the Singapore Pakistani Association event. It was no surprise that the Singaporean’s were thrilled by the delightful performance which lifted the spirits of the audience and inspired the listeners to participate by finger snapping, tapping and dancing with great enthusiasm to the popular melodies of the band.
The entire mood of the evening could be described as pure joy and elation as Zeb’s mellifluous vocals, along with the beautiful lyrics of the songs and the extraordinary compositions of Haniya created a magic in their live performance. The band which showcased the outstanding talents of Pakistani Musicians, Sameer Ahmed on Bass guitar , Zeeshan Mansoor on the Lead guitar and Kamran Paul on Drums and Percussions performed to an enthralled audience. Zeb and Haniya have managed to easily blend the distinctively Pakistani feel of their songs with varied genres of music, without losing their authenticity. The sound that comes out of this blend is unique as well as appealing for a wider global audience.
The band performed their most popular songs in several languages namely Urdu, Persian (Dari), and Turkish, connecting with the international audience through the common linkages and heritage.They started the performance with their early popular hit and the title song of their debut album “CHUP” which means Hush! Zeb kept familiarizing the audience with the back ground and origins of the internationally acclaimed and all-time favourite songs, such as the soulful and melodious “Paimona Bide” (Bring me the Chalice), the funky and energizing “Bibi Sanam Janam” and “Laili Jan”which got the Singapore crowd swinging and of course “Chal Diye” (a.k.a the Islamabad song –an ode to one of the most lush and beautiful cities in the world). Other highlights were the emancipation song “Rona Chor Diya” the romantic “Ahaan” and a song from their upcoming album the “Night Song”. The performance was very tight from beginning to end and was extended upon popular demand for some more of their slower bluesy numbers including the poignant song of hope “Kal To Suraj Niklay Ga” written by Pakistani poetess Ms. JehraNigah.
The live show, very much like the band’s recorded music, was a complete journey; a journey that took the listener through a continuum of moods and emotions – from melancholy to utter joy.