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Amjad Sabri – Silenced Forever

When Amjad Sabri died, it was not entirely that we only mourned for Sabri, we mourned the death of a voice, a culture, a positive representation of Pakistan, a positive representation of a fragmented country, constantly subjected to scrutiny of all kinds.

Sabri symbolized the unity of religion through his kalaams, in which all sects were somewhat unified under the commonality of loving Allah, his Rasool, his beloved Khalifahs and family. It demonstrated our ability to coexist peacefully, whilst putting our ideological differences aside.

With a culture that is constantly diversifying, and us trying to remain in the league with Western modernization and neighboring countries, there is a division in art amongst social classes. The kind of music that is available to the elite, is not one that may be entirely tasteful to lower social classes. A certain kind of disparity has emerged in the arts, with much of it becoming a status symbol, or an image used to represent a certain sort of individual. Yet, the Sabri brothers and Amjad Sabri himself, had created an identity in the niche art that defied all social boundaries and tackled diversity effortlessly. We get teary-eyed listening to their soulful voices and we sobbed, when they passed away.

At Amjad Sabri’s death, somewhere, deep down, momentarily, we had the capacity to mourn for him and love each other, truly for being fellow Pakistanis and nothing more. Those Pakistanis who had begun to scorn because of constant barrages of honor killings, religious fundamentalism and misogyny, sprung alive with love for the artists who drowned out our miseries with their masterpieces. Artists that had created legacies for our nation, that intensified our patriotism rather than dulled it.

And though politicians, journalists and conspiracy theorists will hand their verdict on this deafening loss again and again, and TTP or some other vice will claim responsibility for his martyrdom, let us claim the responsibility of loving his essence, eternally.

Because Amjad Sabri represents something we are all capable of being.

Peaceful. Gracious. Passionate.


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