Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

 

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”Photo Credits http://www.journals.openedition.org”

 

I came across Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan while looking to expand my musical horizons not so long ago. I read an article about his life and the meaning behind his work. Born in Pakistan into a family devoted to Qawwali music, he continued the tradition of his predecessors of the last 600 years and became a hugely celebrated, cult figure to the audience of his genre. He became world renowned, appreciated by artists such as Mick Jagger, until he died in the late 90’s at the young age of 48.

What is Qawwali?

Qawwali is a Muslim genre of music listened to particularly by followers of the Sufi form of Islam. It’s creation came in the 13th century when religious men of India, Persia and Arabia came together to start a new musical tradition and has persevered ever since. It has however been heavily discussed recently after major events in the Middle East. Islamic extremists deem Sufism and its followers to be committing heresy (treason, betrayal of sacred belief) because of the ‘mystical’ elements of the Sufi sect and the worshipping methods that are used. Qawwali music plays a role in this and therefore has came under scrutiny from the extreme branches of the Muslim world.

But Qawwali is a genre which uses classic literature to create songs of peace, tolerance and love. Something that can be felt through listening to the albums of Ali Khan and others.

I enjoy listening to world music and I am fascinated by world cultures. The Middle East is no different and I love the history and tradition. Today it is often painted as a part of the world full of war, hate and disruption but outsiders have played their part in it’s destabilisation. I hope that one day I will be able to appreciate the beauty of the Middle East. I have long held dreams of walking through the Ancient City of Damascus, Syria, considered to be one of the oldest continually inhabited cities of the world. Of course I recognise the near impossibility of this right now and I can only hope that things get better for the Syrian people very quickly. There is never a humane reason for the cruelty which they have suffered…

 

”Music of a People”

 

”Massive Attack treatment. Spiritual Trip-Hop and it’s class.”

 

”Take me to another world”

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Mustt Mustt (Real World Records) Buy Here.

‘The Wide-Eyed Scotsman’ is a collection of thoughts, written pieces, opinions and blogs by myself, Aidan Meehan. Unless stated otherwise all of the work on this site is my own. All of the photos (unless credited) are my own. I put a lot of work into upkeeping this for little or no return other than the gratitude I feel when my work is appreciated. Please.. If you have anything to say or if you enjoy my updates do not hesitate to like, share, follow, communicate or even criticise (be gentle). I am in no ways a professional blogger/ writer/ photographer and any sort of interaction which may help to improve my future work would be hugely appreciated.

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Kosovo.

What a dream it was to visit this place. I don’t mean that it had been a lifelong ambition. But my aim at the beginning of 2018 was to go to places ‘off the beaten path’. The Balkans epitomised that but more so than the others, the Republic of Kosovo.

I only stayed one night in the capital city Prishtina before heading further north to the city of Peja. I’d never felt so surreal to be there. The youngest country in Europe. It’s safe to say I didn’t look remotely native. But everyone I met were all humbly welcoming and I even had a conversation with a local in French. He invited me for a coffee the next time I would visit.

Throughout my time travelling in these countries I encountered Islam on various occasions. I didn’t know a great deal about the religion and its teachings but on a personal level for a while now I’ve felt compelled to research a little. So I visited my first mosque while spending time in Sofia and then visited another two throughout my time in Kosovo. The hostel where I stayed in Peja was also stacked with plenty of books and I stumbled upon an English version of a book teaching Islam. I spent one of my evenings reading some pages and resting quietly in my bed area.

I’m not a believer of any religion. My own opinion is that to be a believer in any faith would require years of studying and education. I never enjoyed being raised as a catholic mainly because I didn’t understand it. What I do respect now is the power religion has to change someones life for the better and for that I would not attempt to persuade anyone to give up their learning. Unless it was some dark, hateful shit.

Here’s to you dear Kosovo. You helped me live out a small dream and welcomed me with grace. Until next time.

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Prishtina.
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Abandoned Church.
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Political Graffiti knows no bounds.
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Architecture 101.
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Prishtina
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Newborn.
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Albanian Roots.
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Mosque in Prishtina.
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Peja
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Trail Beginnings.
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Peja Mountains.
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Peja Mountains.
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A Tim in Kosovo.
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Peja Mountains.