Zeb and Haniya perform at the Turkish Embassy in Islamabad

March 13, 2009

Zeb and Haniya

“There were bomb checks as well as sound checks”

Zeb and Haniya perform at the Turkish Embassy in Islamabad

The northern province of Pakistan may be under threat but thankfully that hasn’t prevented art or music to spread its wings and spread the joy…not yet at least. The Turkish Embassy in Islamabad hosted a musical concert featuring Zeb and Haniya last week and the show was a hit, despite security hazards.
“Security was a hassle,” recalls Haniya. “Getting our truck load of equipment into Islamabad from Lahore was a pain. The show was inside the diplomatic enclave and we were stopped and our vehicles checked at every point. But when we said we were musicians, people smiled at us. At the venue there were bomb checks as well as sound checks! But all said, it wasn’t so bad and we’re glad we did it.”

The concert turned out to be a huge success as they not only held peoples’ attention with Urdu and English songs but it turned out that they could sing in Turkish as well. Together, they sang 13 songs in Urdu, Pushto, English and Turkish, and were accompanied by young musician Zeeshan Mansoor and Hassan Ameen Mohyeddin.

The music scene in Pakistan has been reduced to small gigs and private concerts such as this one, but one has to applaud the spirit of the young musicians, especially those like Zeb and Haniya who are going against all odds to make sure music stays alive in an arid environment. And more than anything else, it is their optimism that is commendable.

“We do think that things will get better,” says Haniya. “We are part of the Coke Studio project this year and we are in talks with Shaan for doing the soundtrack of his next film. So as far as we’re concerned, we are busy and we feel things will get better too.”

Source: The News International – No. 1 English Newspaper from Pakistan – Saturday, December 30, 1899