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Mystic Music Festival leaves audience enthralled

Pakistani Sufi singer Akhtar Chanal Zahri performs during the Mystic Music Sufi Festival dedicated to Sufi poetry, in Lahore on Feb. 10, 2018. (AFP)
A Pakistani folk singer performs during the two-day Mystic Music Sufi Festival in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, Feb.10, 2018. (AP)
A Pakistani artist performs on Sufi music during the Mystic Music Sufi Festival dedicated to Sufi poetry, in Lahore on Feb. 10, 2018. (AFP)
Pakistani dancers perform on Sufi music during the Mystic Music Sufi Festival dedicated to Sufi poetry, in Lahore on Feb. 10, 2018. (AFP)
Pakistani dangers perform during the two-day Mystic Music Sufi Festival in Lahore, Pakistan, Saturday, Feb.10, 2018. (AP)
LAHORE: The 16th Mystic Music Sufi Festival concluded at Alhamra Cultural Complex in Lahore on Sunday.
Organized by Rafi Peer Theater Workshop, the three-day festival was designed to celebrate Sufi poetry and mystical music together.
The festival aims to present a diverse group of Sufi singers and musicians to showcase a thousand years old heritage, the organizers of the event said in a joint press conference on Friday.
The colorful festival attracted hundreds of people from different walks of life who cherished soulful melodies and rhythmic dance performances. It also brought together some of the most popular artists from around the country, including Arif Lohar, Sheema Kermani, and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
Talking to Arab News, Mian Yousuf Salahuddin, famous Pakistani socialite, philanthropist, and ex-politician, said: “There is a need to promote such events to get our youth familiar with our traditions and culture.”
“It’s encouraging that Sufi music festival is held in Lahore,” he said.
Sheema Kirmani, social activist and an exponent of Indian Bharatnatyam dance in Pakistan, told Arab News: “I was honored to be part of the Mystic Sufi Music Festival in Lahore organized by the Rafi Peer Workshop. I presented the journey of the Sufis... I started with the great mystic Rabia Basri and then moved on to the Indian Subcontinent where the great musical genius Amir Khusrau created the first Qaul and then the Dhamaal as it is practiced in Pakistan.”
Salahuddin stressed the need to arrange such festivals more frequently in Pakistan, saying this “will help fight extremism” in the society.
“Sufism and Sufi festivals need to be encouraged to promote moderation in the society, and the government should sponsor such events across the country at all levels,” he said.

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