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Four Artists from Gilgit-Baltistan Who are Proving That Disability is not Inability

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Abbas Sermik

Mushtaq Ali

Shini Bahar Dimi – Amazing Blind Rabab Artist from Hunza, GBMushtaq is yet another differently-abled/special musician from Gilgit-Baltistan. He sings the famous folk song of Hunza “Shini Bahar Dimi Seyan” by Allama Naseer. Video via The Hunza Valley.More videos on http://hunza.co/videos/ / Share / Appreciate

Posted by Abbas Sermik on Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Abbas Sermik

Abbas Sermik New Video – Mein Pee K Nahin Aya”Mein Pee K Nahin Aya” – Yet another great live performance by Abbas Sermik.Like, comment and share to appreciate!

Posted by Abbas Sermik on Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Nizam Uddin

kabhi ja badal barsey 😀

Posted by Nizam ud din on Friday, March 21, 2014

Niaz Hunzai

Rubab JamRubab JamRubab – Niaz HunzaiPercussion – Nadeem Roy

Posted by Niaz Hunzai on Sunday, February 2, 2014

GBee Staff keeps you updated with the latest happenings in Gilgit, Baltistan and Chitral regions of Pakistan.

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Chitral

7 Photo-stories on World Water Day 2020 from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral (GBC)

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AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
AKAH Pakistan

World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22nd March as an observance day to highlight the importance of freshwater. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

As part of the World Water Day 2020 celebrations, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) shares these stories of people from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral whose lives have been deeply impacted by water and sanitation-related projects in the region.

AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Over half of the people across Pakistan lack access to safe and clean water and have no choice but to consume water from whatever source exists in their villages, regardless of quality. Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, aiming to improve quality of life, is implementing water supply schemes across mountain communities in Pakistan.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
In mountainous parts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, traditional wells are used as water reservoirs collecting the water coming from streams through canals. This water, coming directly from open sources, is unsafe as it is contaminated due to its exposure to both humans and animals. Without access to another source of water, people use this unsafe water for different purposes including drinking, cooking, and other domestic purposes.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Clean drinking water has always been a huge problem for communities living in mountainous areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. Women and children are impacted the most as they must travel long distances to fetch water for cooking, washing, and laundry. AKAH’s work to connect each household to safe and clean with a water tap in their home enables women to keep their children safe from waterborne diseases, spend more quality time with their families, and also reduces time and labor lost to fetching water.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), with the help of communities, identifies water sources in the village, tests the water quality using its technical expertise, develops water infrastructure, constructs water reservoirs, and provides each family with a water tap in their home. More than 500,000 people across Pakistan now have access to safe drinking water in their homes, through AKAH’s efforts.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat’s WASEP model uses a community-based approach to help mountain communities get year-round all-season access to safe water. AKAH’s approach uses deep digging and other techniques to ensure that water does not freeze in the pipes despite the fact that these villages are covered in snow for more than five months of the year.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
“I enjoy taking freshwater from this tap in my home; you would say I am in love with it that’s why I stand here many times a day”.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, with its mandate to improve quality of life, is helping women and young girls across Pakistan enjoy a healthy life, by providing access to safe water in their homes, reducing their exposure to water-borne diseases, allowing them to spend more quality time with families.
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Payu Cha – The blood that runs through Balti Life

As Baltis outside of Baltistan, we are all nostalgic about Baltistan. We all miss the leafy winds, the snow-white cold, the dazzlingly sun and the starry nights. Yet apart from all these natural blessings devoid in the city life, we all miss Payu Cha, Balti tea, that fiery alchemy which used to recharge our bodies, animate our conversations and satiate our hunger.

Syed Mohsin Ali

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Payu Cha - Baltistan diet

In Baltistan, no greeting is complete without its offer. No hospitality is warm without its presence. It is a perfect companion of all our breads-chapati, roti and azoq etc. Yet with the roasted barley flour along with a sprinkle of sugar and a spooning of oil,  its taste is heavenly with no equals at all.

Payu Cha feels like our little secret of a whole culture. We all enjoy it to the point of addiction. We all can’t live without it, and we all can’t get enough of it. And yet we all can’t explain anyone outside about such an intense craving for something that is only a tea after all.

If we offer this tea to anyone else, they would puke, literally. Its aroma, according to Mr. Greg Mortenson in the Three Cups of Tea, is stinkier than the most frightening cheese the French ever invented. Yet we take it all the time, eagerly and voraciously.

Irreplaceable for the breakfast, it has no reserves to take the place of lunch or even the dinner sometimes in Baltistan. While taking it in between these three meals is the most normal part of a Balti day. Especially for the mandatory Balti supper, it is absolutely indispensable.

The conversation gets its flow from the sips of the tea. Anecdotes come out of it, and so do smiles, giggles, and guffaws.  It unites the family at the meals table, lowers a guest’s reserves and connects a perfect stranger with everyone.

Every rich household offers it without hesitation, but so can every poor household as well without much sacrifice on their pockets. It even provides the topics of conversation- what is the secret of its color, where to get such a tea from the market, how to get the perfect color for the tea etc.

Seeing the importance of tea in Balti life, Mortenson has wisely chosen the title Three Cups of Tea for a book that is largely about Baltis. The integration of an outsider fully into Balti life starts with tea- first cup for a stranger, the second for an honored guest and the last for a family member.

That’s why a constant complaint among all the city-dwelling Baltis is the absence of Payu Cha from their lives. Some make it even here, but most lack the proper facility to do that. I am one of the former ones who will make it even during the chaotic student life in a hostel with an electric kettle.

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