. ........................................SUFINIGHT - 2011...................... .........................

PCA's SufiNight with Ustaad Shafqat Ali Khan. A magical Sufi Music Night.

Pakistan Cultural Association with the support of Pakistan High Commission Canberra organised a very successful Sufi Night. The bliss of Sufi music with the taste of amazing classical music. What a show. Community enjoyed the Sufi Night out with the genius Shafqat Ali on Saturday 17th September at the Tim Murray Theatre in Canberra Grammar School. Agenda of the night is attached here..

The guests included: H.E. Mr. Nasir Ahmad Andisha(Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan), H.E. Lt. Gen. Masud Uddin Chowdhury (High Commissioner of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh), H.E. Mr. Patrick Renault (Ambassador of Belgium), Deputy High Commissioner for India, H.E. Mr. Yogendra Dhakal (Ambassador of Nepal), some 100 VIP dignitaries and a large number of Community members.

Young talent Waleeja Zahoor, Master of the ceremony opened the night by shedding some light on Sufism and how sufism contributed towards the rich culture of subcontinent. President of Pakistan Cultural Association, Mr. Khawar Saleem welcomed the guests and gave an overview of PCAs achievements in previous years. He also acknowledged the event's major sponsors Tag Agra restaurants and Sada-e-Watan Sydney who have always sponsored our activities and stood by us whenever required. He also emphasized that this beautiful event was not possible without the help and efforts of our executives and volunteers mainly Muhammad Saleem, Javed Butt, Nahid Hafiz, Abdul Ansari, Mohammad ali, Atique siddiqui, Muhammad Farooq, Tooba Farooq, Furqan Ahmad, Soumitra Sarkar, Sohail Lone, Sameer Walizada, Basit Khalid, Dave Colledge, Khawar Siddique, Syed Zafar Hussain, Raja Taseer and last but not least thewonderful talented young master of the ceremony Waleeja Zahoor.

H.E. High Commissioner of Pakistan to Australia, Mr. Abdul Malik Abdullah also welcomed the guests to the great cultural night. He praised the environment and the efforts made by PCA executives to make this event successful. He also informed the audience about the flood affected areas and the situation in Pakistan and appealed them to donate generously to prime Ministers, 2011 flood victims relief Fund. ACT senator Gary Humphries also spoke with the audience and praised the inspiring arrangements and emphasized on the multiculturism of Australia and the importance of the Cultural programs like SufiNight.

Ustaad Shafqat Salaamat Ali Khan made a master like enterance and emerged from the green leaves of the amazing looking stage set. Once he started the audience was lost in his every word. Not only is Shafqat a great singer but he is a great orator. The crowd enjoyed how he explained what is 'music' to him and how music resides in everyone. From then on with his hands setup he delivered a virtuoso display in classical singing. Every note was sung with ease and the crowd was in awe of his singing right from the word go. Sufi Songs of Bulleh Shah, Khawaja Ghulam Fareed, Amir Khusroo, Mian Muhammad bakhsh, Baba Ghulam Fareed, Allama Iqbal, Ghalib, Qateel Shifai and many more poets and sufis were coming one after another. Shafqat Sang for two hours then took a break.

Canberra's own poet Mr. Mohammad Ali then shared some of the Sufi poetry with the audience, he also created some of the best of his work while listening to Shafqat Ali khan. Mr. Muhammad Ali then told audience how amazing the night looks and how inspiring the shafqat Ali khan is. he also praised PCA executives for arranging the amaazing night.

Mr. Atique Siddiqui also shared some of his great poetry work with the audience after which Mrs. Naheed Hafiz brought the wow factor in the night, she anounced the awards ceremony during which PCA President presented the Award to His Excellency Mr. Abdul Malik Abdullah for his support for SufiNight. After this PCA presented an award to the Deputy High Commissioner of Pakistan Mr.Tasawar Khan as a token of appreciation for his commitment and contribution and valuable support over the past three years in Canberra. After which High Commissioner of Pakistan presented an award to Ustaad Shafqat Ali Khan.

When Shafqat came back to sing he didnt stop for next two hours. At the end when he concluded the audience didn't want him to finish and asked hime to sing few more songs including "Main ni Main". As a result Shafqat had to start singing again. When he stopped 300 fans gave him a standing ovation. Mr. Mohammad Ali praised and asked Shafqat to keep up the great work and also anounced that this was the best function he ever attended in the past 20 years in Canberra.

Mr. Javed Butt in the end concluded the SufiNight with the Vote of Thanks. Every one enjoyed the show and congratulated PCA on such a great effort. We are still receiving phone calls and emails which have nothing but praises.

Special thanks are also due to Defence Advisor Birg. Zahoor Ahmad, who played a major role in the organisation of SufiNight, without his guidance and valuable advice this event was not possible.

Check out a few pics from the Sufinight

Click a picture to see a larger view.