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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For all private enquiries get in touch at aidanmeehan94@outlook.com. Thank you. The Wide-Eyed Scotsman.

 

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Good Wee Reads.

I haven’t shared much of my library on here. Which is strange because it’s all I have done for a while. So now I figure is a good time to share my reading fancies with you. And it’s something I will probably be doing a lot more frequently on here.

Here are 5 incredible books that have not only inspired me but also helped to bring around changes in my own life. I highly recommend in plunging heed first into these literary dreams. From adventure stories able to drag you out of the slog of the day to political works filled with powerful logic and humbling passion. I hope that you can find yourself a Good Wee Read tailored to your tastes.

On the Road – Jack Kerouac. Buy Here.

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“..the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse. Buy Here.

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“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”

Che Guevara Talks To Young People. Buy Here.

che guevara

“The walls of the educational system must come down. Education should not be a privilege, so the children of those who have money can study.”

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson. Buy Here.

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“Sometimes the isle was thick with savages, with whom we fought, sometimes full of dangerous animals that hunted us, but in all my fancies nothing occurred to me so strange as our actual adventures.”

James Connolly: Collected Works. Buy Here.

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“It would be well to realize that the talk of ‘humane methods of warfare’, of the ‘rules of civilized warfare’, and all such homage to the finer sentiments of the race are hypocritical and unreal, and only intended for the consumption of stay-at-homes. There are no humane methods of warfare, there is no such thing as civilized warfare; all warfare is inhuman, all warfare is barbaric; the first blast of the bugles of war ever sounds for the time being the funeral knell of human progress… What lover of humanity can view with anything but horror the prospect of this ruthless destruction of human life. Yet this is war: war for which all the jingoes are howling, war to which all the hopes of the world are being sacrificed, war to which a mad ruling class would plunge a mad world.”

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.