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Gilgit-Baltistan’s prominent flutist and Shehnai player Imtiaz Karim passes away

Imran Ahmed Hunzai

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Imtiaz Karim flute player from Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan

Imtiaz Karim, one of Gilgit-Baltistan’s prominent flute and traditional Shehnai (Suranai in Burushaski) players, passes away due to cardiac arrest. He was the co-founder of Hunza Classical Group and regularly performed at local and international events. He also toured China and Australia to represent the folk music of Pakistan.

According to a local source, Imtiaz Karim was heading home from work on Wednesday evening when he collapsed. The reason for his death was declared a cardiac arrest. He was 40.

Many music lovers from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral are showing their grief over the sudden death of a musician who not only introduced bamboo flute into the music industry of this region but also trained numerous young people under his apprenticeship.

Ghazi Karim, bandmate and close friend of Imtiaz Karim, posted on his Facebook account that it is a black day for Hunza Classical Group.

Ishtiaq Karim, his brother, requested his fans and friends to pray for the departed soul.

Video: Imtiaz Karim performs at Hunza Cultural Festival

Imtiaz Karim was a regular artist to perform at Hunza Cultural Festival held often in Islamabad by Hunza Cultural Forum (HCF). His most recent appearance was in January 2017 where he performed along the traditional Domaki musicians and his bandmates of Hunza Classical Group.

He had played for numerous artists including Shahid Akhtar Qalandar, Khalid Abbas Hassanabadi, Sherbaz Khan, Rahim Ullah Rahim and Jabir Khan Jabir among others. He also released four instrumental albums with Hunza Classical Group.

Imtiaz Karim was an employee of Baltit Fort managed by Baltit Heritage Trust. He left behind a widow and two sons.

Imtiaz Karim was laid to rest at the Baltit Graveyard in his hometown of Karimabad.

Read this article in Urdu

Business & Economy

Karakoram Area Development Organization (KADO) appoints its first-ever female CEO

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Mehnaz Parveen, CEO, KADO Hunza
Cover Photo Credits: Jamil Alvi

Karakoram Area Development Organization, better known as its acronym KADO, has appointed Mehnaz Parveen as its first-ever female CEO. The vacant position of Chief Executive Officer at KADO Hunza was announced on 2nd August 2019.

Mehnaz Parveen, the new CEO of KADO Hunza, is a resident of Passu, Gojal. She has been working at Foundation for Arts, Culture & Education (FACE) as a Director and Institute for Preservation of Arts and Culture (IPAC) prior to FACE. She has also been associated with Indus Blues as a Production Designer. Indus Blues is an award-winning Pakistani documentary that focuses on the fading musical instruments in Pakistan.

Mehnaz Parveen holds a degree in journalism from Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi. She also studied documentary filmmaking from Madison Area Technical College, Watertown, Wisconsin, USA.

Mehnaz Parveen with Jawad Sharif, director of Indus Blues, and hosts of GEO New’s morning show GEO Pakistan. Photo: Jawad Sharif (Facebook).

She has been in a leading position for Music Mela events in Hunza and Islamabad. Music Mela is an event organized by the Foundation for Arts, Culture & Education (FACE) in collaborations with partner organizations and brands.

Mehaz Parveen is also the co-founder of Seabuckthorn Hunza restaurant which is based in Islamabad’s sector F8. The restaurant serves Hunza Traditional Foods.

The new CEO brings on table years of experience working with indigenous communities from Kalash to Tharparkar. Mehnaz Parveen, during her time at FACE, has worked tirelessly for improving the livelihoods of these indigenous communities and for the promotion of culture and folk music of these areas.

Karakoram Area Development Organization (KADO) is an indigenous initiative aimed at to improve the socio-economic conditions of people in Gilgit-Baltistan.”

www.kado.org.pk

KADO has been working actively since the mid-90s for the promotion of culture, entrepreneurship and giving training to differently-abled and young people across Gilgit-Baltistan and even Chitral.

With a headquarter based in Aliabad, Hunza, KADO has spent over a billion Pakistani Rupees, mostly grant and aid money, during the past two decades. KADO is currently operating projects like the Gems and Jewellery Development Centre, Karakoram Handicraft Development Project, Hunza Arts and Cultural Forum, Hunza Environmental Committee, Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D), Rehabilitation Center and HiMaT ILDP.

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Aga Khan Agency for Habitat Raises Awareness on National School Safety Day in Pakistan

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Photo: AKAH

To protect school children from natural disasters and other insecurities, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) convened government education departments, academia, district disaster management authorities and the media in Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab.

Mr. Hafiz Noorullah, Education Development Officer, Chitral, said on a radio talk show:

“A lack of awareness and knowledge makes the disaster happen. So there is a need to have more and more information sharing through different media platforms and involvement of young people in interactive discussions to sensitize them on the topics of safety and security.”

Mr. Nawab Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer, AKAH Pakistan said:

“In the 2005 earthquake, Pakistan lost around 20,000 children due to vulnerable structures and lack of awareness and preparedness, which cannot be repeated. We need our schools to be resilient and better prepared
for similar situations. We are thankful to our public and private-sector partners for joining hands with us to achieve this objective.”

For the last 20 years, AKAH has been designing and implementing programmes on Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation in some of Pakistan’s most vulnerable areas. More than 1,000 schools in disaster-prone areas have benefitted from the development of hazard and risk maps, school safety plans, provision of school safety kits, and awareness raising and capacity building of individuals.

School-level awareness raising sessions have been part of the work of the Aga Khan Agency since the Islamabad Conference on School Safety held in 2008. AKAH’s School Safety Programme will contribute towards the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s one million safe schools and hospitals global campaign, and contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) and the practical implementation of the Pakistan School Safety Framework.

For further information, please contact:
[email protected]

NOTES:
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), which merges the capabilities of Focus Humanitarian Assistance, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, and the Aga Khan Development Network’s Disaster Risk Management Initiative focuses on preparing for both sudden and slow-onset disasters. AKAH works to ensure that people live in physical settings that are as safe as possible from the effects of natural disasters; that residents who do live in high- risk areas are able to cope with disasters in terms of preparedness and response; and that these settings provide access to social and financial services that lead to greater opportunity and a
better quality of life. Initially, priority areas of AKAH will include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and India.

Read more about the agency at: http://www.akdn.org/our-agencies/aga-khan-agency-habitat

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