Pakistan-America Peace Through Music Project – A critical analysis



Really Possible or Just a Dream?

Guest Post by Sameen Hassan

Members musicians of Peace through music project

The news of the Atif Aslam alliance with the former associates of American Rock band Guns ‘n’ Roses and several other big names of the western music fraternity below the banner of Sonic Peace Makers has been a continuous hothead in the music sorority for the past few months. The brains behind the project comes out to be Todd Shea, an American philanthropist and also the face of the Sonic Peace Makers. The project name is titled as Pakistan-America Peace Through Music Project

For those who do not know about this project, it is an ensemble of artistes from East and West. It will be fashioning fusion of melodies of East and West involving names such as Atif Aslam, Ustad Fateh Ali, Strings etc from Pakistan and John Mayer, Bono etc from the west. The Sonic Peace Makers, earlier last year recorded a song with the voice of Pakistani Youth, Atif Aslam along with Todd Shea and world renowned guitarists Matt Sorum and Lanny Cordolla in the flood affected areas of Pakistan which was well received by the audience.

Atif Aslam. Sarmad Ghafoor, Sameer Shami, Gilby Clarke, Matt Sorum, Lanny Cordolla The project entitled “The Dreamer Awakes” will release a couple of songs later this year featuring Atif Aslam. Sarmad Ghafoor, Sameer Shami, Gilby Clarke, Matt Sorum, Lanny Cordolla etc among others about which the music fraternity seems quite excited.

With that said now coming down to the purpose and meaning of the project. Todd Shea who has been involved in altruistic efforts in the earth quake affected areas since 2005 shaped this ensemble to abridge the aloofness flanked by the nationals of Pakistan and the United States. It aims to bring closure to the high tension between the two countries built up lately through the enigmatic power of music.

Myriads of international and national luminaries have stepped ahead to support the cause. Very recently Atif Aslam while on his US tour socialized with the Pakistani localities in different cities of US urging them to play their role. Locally in Pakistan, several press conferences were held earlier this year provoking people to abridge the prevailing distances.

Atif himself speaks of the project in a press conference. “Through this project we shall be putting forth America an image of Pakistan never seen before. The main purpose of teaming up with the musicians of America is to provoke improved mutual relations of the two countries. It is not just a song but an entire documentary.”

The project is undoubtedly a step ahead to enhanced associations. However despite the coming-together of the musicians from the west and east, and in the face of that this collaboration seems sure to receive a good applause from the music aficionados, a few questions remain unanswered.

For a person having all opulence of life and a passion for amusement that is usually fulfill by listening to good music or watching in theaters or attending a concert, the project for sure holds something to look forward to. It even holds something for every person linked through the social networks to nooks and corners of the world. It definitely aims to serve the norms of the society.

Nevertheless the fact open to discussion is, will it be able to heal the wounds of families of all those killed in US drone attacks? Will the musical ensemble be able to put an end to the enforced wars over the world by the U.S ? Or will it make the least difference to all those insulted and pointed around the world on being a Pakistani national? The answer to all these questions is very well known.

Young Kids women victims of US drone attacks
Funeral of the a drone attack victims in Pakistan Note: White flages are flying only to avoid another terrorist strike by the US-Pakistan joint attack on the innocent civilians. See face of a young “terrorist” in the right corner, who is one of the women and children killed in the latest attack in Miran Shah. "Just 30" people died in this attack. Photo Courtesy : All Voices

Every day we hear the news of people trampled by the drone attacks, people belonging to the underprivileged society daily killed in the name of war against terrorism; a group of citizens deprived of a life of comfort that we live in. These people hardly get to enjoy a good meal; enjoyment of music and theatres is beyond their imagination. The Peace Through Music Project might bring to screen some good songs, a presentable documentary, a well received collaboration by a specific group of people and even abridged distances between the elite of the two countries but will it be able to heal the wounds of these meager citizens remains a question unanswered but evident.

With names as that of Atif Aslam involved in the project and all the hype of the project, the success seems quite on the cards. Music aficionados are sure to receive the project ardently. With all said, the project remains a step to be appreciated as it might bring a slight change of thoughts on a level that it caters to atleast if not every where!

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