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Coke Studio releases “ASMA-UL-HUSNA” recited by Atif Aslam

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Coke Studio announces the release of “Asma-Ul-Husna,” the 99 attributes of Allah, recited by Atif Aslam. The three and a half minute track is produced by Zulfiqar “Xulfi” Jabbar Khan, while the video is directed by Asim Raza.

 

Inscribed into the cultural memory of Pakistan, “Asma-Ul-Husna” has taken different colours worldwide, profoundly impacting audiences with its verses. Coke Studio’s version manifests a multilayer soundscape, beginning with the actual sounds of black hole collision, followed by the echoes of “Allah” from the iconic Azaan of Makkah. The recitation borrows 24 voices from across the country to build a large vocal acapella personality and to further enhance the grandeur of the acapella, Melvin Arthur, a virtuoso musician from Quetta Pakistan, worked on crafting the choir arrangement using vocals from around the world. The track also demonstrates a unique arrangement of duffs as their grand ensemble reverberates in a large space. The whole composition finally comes together seamlessly in the vocals of Atif Aslam reciting the powerful verses.

 

Indeed, the release comes at an unprecedented time of crisis with the whole world gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fear, anxiety and uncertainty it has brought with it. Pakistan’s frontline workers, from doctors, nurses, security personnel, and janitorial staff continuously risk their lives to help serve those affected.

 

In these testing circumstances, the release of “Asma-Ul-Husna” is an ode to the unwavering human spirit, an expression of spiritual healing and nourishment, and a reassurance of better times ahead. The recitation ends poignantly with “Al-Saboor” or translates possessor of enduring patience, conveying a message of calm and endurance.

 

Speaking about the release of “Asma-Ul-Husna,” Mr. Fahad Ashraf, General Manager, Coca-Cola, Pakistan & Afghanistan Region, stated, “Pakistan is a deeply spiritual and indeed resilient nation, drawing on incredible reservoirs of strength in trying times. At a time when we are going through a critical moment in history, we release Asma-Ul-Husna in cognisance of the beautiful human spirit, endeavouring to share a sense of calm, positivity and hope in the collective consciousness of the nation through the contemplative and reassuring nature of the verses.”

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7th Sky Entertainment, under the leadership of Abdullah Kadwani and Asad Qureshi, have come up with another mega project titled Raaz-e-Ulfat

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The drama follows the story of an innocent young girl, Mushk, who belongs to a conservative family and her life is governed by her strict father. She has been living a sheltered life under the principles made by her father, until she meets Sahiba. Sahiba is a modern and outgoing girl, the stark opposite of Mushk. Jealousy clouds over their friendship as Sahiba ruins Mushk’s relationship with her newfound love Irtiza, as well as her family.

The drama stars Yumna Zaidi, Shahzad Sheikh, Komal Aziz, Gohar Rasheed and the rest of the ensemble cast includes Hina Bayat, Seemi Pasha, Gohar Rasheed, Manzoor Qureshi, Farhan Ali Agha, Tara Mehmood, Kiran Haq, Anum Tanveer. Penned down by Maha Malik, the drama has been directed by ace director Siraj ul Haq.

 

Currently garnering rave reviews for Kahin Deep Jalay, Deewangi, Munafiq and Muqaddar, 7th Sky Entertainment is the only entertainment company that has been consistently giving super hit & quality content for the audiences across Pakistan, changing the face of entertainment television in the country.

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OUR MARKINGS 2020 extends major global footprint with thousands of entries across 13 COVID-19 affected countries

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Pakistan’s leading independent publishing house Markings Publishing, helmed by Kiran Aman, extends its global footprint with thousands of entries from over 13 COVID-19 affected countries for “OUR MARKINGS 2020” in just 7 days. A photographic journey through COVID-19, a testimony to life during self and social isolation, “OUR MARKINGS 2020” is the first global outreach project by Markings Publishing.

 

 

Indeed, in these unprecedented times amid COVID-19, Kiran aims to unite the community to find communal strength and perseverance by joining hands on one platform to document the shifting values in the current times.

 

In just one week, the Markings team has received an overwhelming response – not just from Pakistanis, but also from people in self-isolation around the world, including photo entries from Japan, Italy, France, Macau, Turkey, USA, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar, India, Malaysia and Canada, to name a few.

 

 

The photographs come with stories and captions ranging from heartwarming to introspective, where people have shared about how grateful they are. to be able to notice and live for the little things in life.

 

 

Other stories speak of the fear and plight of doctors and nurses in Pakistan and the US, who are serving on the front line to save lives, to entries from India of migrant workers trudging for miles by road, to return to their native villages.

 

Photographs of the many acts of philanthropy from local private organisations, to help those in need, have also been submitted. The responsibility to provide for the growing need for food and methods of sanitisation for the needy has been undertaken by citizens alike.

 

The project has also received photo entries and support from local celebrities, such as the legendary Tina Sani and Faisal Kapadia of Strings, actress Mahira Khan, media personality Anoushey Ashraf, photographer Amean J, and journalist Sonya Rehman to name a few.

 

“Team Markings is truly humbled at the number of people who are sharing their journey with us, for sharing their raw feelings, and letting us into their lives, as we traverse these waters together, in what we now know as the new normal.” said CEO Markings, Kiran Aman.

 

Committed towards uplifting mankind’s morale, Markings Publishing is inviting everyone to send in photographs that depict what one feels, sees, or thinks, to initiate the live case history for “OUR MARKINGS 2020”. These submissions will be compiled in a book, which will document the journey through this time.

 

The Markings team will shortlist the most powerful entries which will be published in “OUR MARKINGS 2020”, whilst the remaining images will be shared across social media, crediting the respective photographer(s).

 

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/markingspk

Hashtags: #MarkingsPublishing ,#OurMarkings2020, #COVID_19

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SHARMEEN OBAID-CHINOY releases the fifth and final episode of ‘FUNDAMENTAL. GENDER JUSTICE. NO EXCEPTIONS.’

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Two-time Academy Award Winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy releases the fifth and final episode of “FUNDAMENTAL. GENDER JUSTICE. NO EXCEPTIONS” titled “Georgia – Living Out Loud”. The episode has been directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and produced by Safyah Zafar Usmani and Shahrukh Waheed from SOC Films.

 

The fifth episode of FUNDAMENTAL from Georgia, “Living Out Loud” focuses on LGBTQI rights in Georgia and how a resilient movement is overcoming the powerful joint forces of church and state.

 

While officially a secular nation, church and state are far from separate in Georgia, where homophobia is common. The Christian Orthodox Church holds great power including among government officials, resulting in homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination throughout the country, hate crimes and murders, and state-ordered threats against LGBTQI individuals and activists.

 

At the same time, the feminist and LGBTQI movements in Georgia are growing stronger and more organized. Episode 3 follows Eka Aghdgomelashvili, a Georgian feminist activist and trailblazer who led successful efforts to pass anti-discrimination laws in this former Soviet state. The episode also features a young artist Eka Tkemeladze and fellow community activists who are mobilizing in the tense days leading up to the IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia) rally.

 

The fifth episode from Georgia, “Living Out Loud” can be viewed at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qp5mU0ePtzM

 

A production of SOC Films and Global Fund for Women, FUNDAMENTAL is a five-episode international documentary series which follows dynamic activists from five countries who are disrupting the status quo and radically altering the course of history for women and girls – and all historically marginalized people and communities globally. FUNDAMENTAL has been shot and produced by documentary film-makers from SOC FILMS, Safyah Zafar Usmani and Shahrukh Waheed and directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, in Brazil, Georgia, Kenya, USA and Pakistan. With this series, SOC Films aims to present and empower the next generation of non-fiction filmmakers in Pakistan. Indeed, this is the first time an all Pakistan Crew has created a global series. This is also the first global series to be officially presented and released by YouTube Originals and Refinery29.

 

Presented by YouTube Originals, the series is a production of SOC Films and Global Fund for Women in association with Fork Films and Secret Sauce Media. Executive Producers include Julie Parker Benello (Secret Sauce Media), Catherine King (Global Fund for Women), Abigail E. Disney (Fork Films), Maria Nunez, Susan Sherrerd, Patty Quillin, and Lynda Weinman. The project has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Levi Strauss Foundation. Partnering with Refinery29 on the series, the episodes of FUNDAMENTAL were released on Refinery29’s official YouTube channel and YouTube.com/Learning.

 

The FUNDAMENTAL production crew also features Directors of Photography Faizan Ali and Nadir Siddiqui, Cameraperson Khurram Victor, Editors and Colorists Husain Qaizer and Sourath Behan, Editors Mishaal Adhami and Anas Ahmed, Sound Design by Sameer Khan, Project Manager Huma Shah, Color Correction of Photography by Murtaza Ali and Line Production by Syed Ayub. The series also features music by Taha Malik with Cameraperson Salome Sagaradze for Georgia and Associate Producers Maureen Wanjiku for Kenya, Nino Isakadze for Georgia and Julia Main for USA.

 

For more information, visit:

https://fundamental-film.com

https://www.globalfundforwomen.org

https://www.youtube.com/user/Refinery29TV

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WOMEN’S WRITING PRIZE RETURNS FOR 2020 AS NON-FICTION WRITING COMPETITION!

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After a phenomenally successful inaugural year, which saw the submission of nearly 500 pieces of writing from every corner of Pakistan, the Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women returns with a call for submissions from April 1st 2020.

 

This annual writing competition, which carries a cash prize of Rs. 100,000 was established last year to honour of the memory of Zeenat Haroon Rashid, a founding member of the Women’s National Guard and Muslim League activist during the Freedom Movement.

 

The Competition asks women to submit writing on the theme of WOMEN AND PAKISTAN and this year the call is for NON-FICTION writing (memoir, biography, narrative or polemical essay). The writing may be as immediately topical or as eternally timeless as the author pleases and, as always, the judges will look for writing with a strong personal voice. The Competition is open to all women of Pakistani nationality or Pakistani heritage over the age of 18.

 

In 2019, the award and cash prize was won by Maham Javaid for her short story THE TALLEST WOMAN. A Special Citation was also awarded to Saadia Khatri for her memoir, FEAR AND THE CITY. Both these women had the honour of having their writing published in a national newspaper. All featured writing is now available to read on the website www.zhrwritingprize.com

 

The judging panel for 2020 includes a stellar list of renowned writers, editors and journalists:

 

  • Maleeha Lodhi. Hilal-e-Imtiaz. Diplomat, Academic, Author and Editor. Among her many accomplishments Maleeha has also served as editor of The Muslim and was founding editor of The News. She is the author of  two books, Pakistan: the External Challenge andPakistan’s Encounter with Democracy and editor of a third, Pakistan: Beyond the Crisis State

 

  • Alice Albinia. Author and Journalist. Her first book Empires of the Indus: the Story of a River was awarded the Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction by the Royal Society of Literature in 2005 as well as the Dolman Travel Prize and the Somerset Maughm Award in 2009. Her debut novel Leela’s Book (2012) is a re-telling of the Mahabarata, set in modern Delhi where she lived and worked as a journalist for two years.

 

  • Ahmed Rashid. Author and Journalist. An award-winning Pakistani journalist. Ahmed is the author of six books: The Resurgence of Central Asia(1994), Taliban (2000), Jihad (2002), Descent into Chaos: The US and the Disaster in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia (2008) and Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan (2012). He writes widely for international newspapers, currently the Financial Times and the New York Times. He is a founding director of the Lahore Literary Festival.

 

 

 

  • Homa Khaleeli. Editor and Journalist. A journalist based in London, Homa is the joint deputy features editor of the UK’s Guardian  She writes for The Guardianon a variety of subjects with a special focus on women’s issues and Muslim culture.

 

  • Shan Vahidy. Editor and Granddaughter. Having worked for several years at Penguin Books, Shan is now a freelance editor working in London. She is the granddaughter of Zeenat Haroon Rashid and a permanent co-ordinating judge on the panel.

 

Full details on how to enter and comprehensive competition rules can be found on the website www.zhrwritingprize.com . Entries for the 2020 competition open on 1st April 2020 and close on 30th June 2020

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Mangu from ‘The Donkey King’ rallies for the fight against coronavirus with the anthem “Darna Nahi Larna Hai”

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After making a huge hit in cinemas in Pakistan and abroad, everyone’s beloved Mangu from the animated comedy film- The Donkey King is here with a public service anthem to give an important message to the masses during these difficult times.

 

The makers of the movie have released a public service anthem requesting everyone to practice social distancing to play their part in the fight against the disease. The inspirational anthem ‘Darna Nahin Larna Ha’i has been composed by Shuja Haider, with Asrar’s vocals, and the writer-director of the blockbuster animated film Aziz Jindani has written the lyrics.

 

Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, which has infected people across the world and in turn has led to locking down of various cities, causing families to self-isolate in their homes, everyone is trying to do their bit by urging people to practice social distancing.

 

In the video for the anthem, Mangu urges everyone to keep an appropriate distance from others but keep our hearts connected. The video also sees cameos from other characters of the movie as they ask us to avoid going out of the house unnecessarily. The video ends with the message, “Stay home, stay safe.”

 

The Donkey King is an animated comedy film that was released in Pakistan in October 2018 and has been produced by Geo Films and Talisman Studios. The film features the voices of Jan Rambo, Ismail Tara, Hina Dilpazeer, Ghulam Mohiuddin, and Jawed Sheikh. The movie has been released in cinemas around the world and has also been dubbed in many languages, including Turkish, Ukrainian, Russian, Korean, Spanish, Basque, and Catalan.

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The Citizens Foundation launches a Rs. 500 Million COVID-19 Response Appeal to fight the crisis

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The Citizens Foundation (TCF) has launched a Rs. 500 Million COVID-19 Response Appeal to battle the devastating impact of the Coronavirus crisis in Pakistan. The organization will be dedicating 20% of all Zakat, Sadqah and donations received during this crisis towards providing essential relief to impacted communities and support to frontline healthcare professionals and volunteers, who need help urgently.

With the contribution to the TCF Covid-19 Response Appeal the organization will provide:

  • Relief to families facing extreme economic hardship. With thousands of TCF teachers and alumni guiding this effort in the most vulnerable communities, support will reach those who need it the most.
  • Support frontline healthcare professionals and volunteers with the equipment, testing kits and protective gear they urgently need.
  • Ensure continuity of the learning process for millions of children who are currently forced to stay away from school.

Mr. Syed Asaad Ayub, President and CEO of The Citizens Foundation commented on the effort saying, This COVID-19 impact is felt most acutely in the communities we call home, and as in the past, we are committed to being there when they need us the most. We resolve to do this with the belief that our supporters and volunteers who have built this movement over the last 25 years will continue to sustain it through this crisis. We will get through this together!”

 Through its educational programmes, The Citizens Foundation has deep roots in vulnerable communities across Pakistan and is directly connected to the lives of more than 266,000 students and their families; 12,500 teachers and principals; 40,000 alumni; and 120,000 adult literacy learners.

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Abdullah Qureshi Drops New Single ‘Daro Na’- A Musical Tribute to TheFrontliners in the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Singer and songwriter Abdullah Qureshi has released a new single ‘Daro Na’, to pay tribute to the masked heroes fighting against the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

The song has arrived as the country enters its fourth week in the lockdown. Produced by the singer himself, the music has also been written and composed by Abdullah Qureshi and his band members. Accompanied by a heartwarming video directed by Social Media Analyst Muzammil Hasan Zaidi, which features Ejaz Aslam, Amar Khan, RabyaKulsoom, Zoya Nasir, Usman Mukhtar, Sabeena Syed and Abdullah Sultan paying their respects to the healthcare workers fighting day and night against the deadly virus.

 

Talking about the process behind the song, the singer revealed, “I wrote this song on a video call, with my bandmates, when I was feeling particularly sad about everything that has been going around in the world. It is just our little contribution to lighten a candle of hope in people’s hearts during these trying times and let those who are fighting for us know that we appreciate and respect them.”

While practicing social distancing, Abdullah Qureshi has continued to release new music. ‘Daro Na’ marks as his second single during the coronavirus quarantine and serves as a timestamp of this difficult moment in human history.

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Blockbuster Jori Junaid Khan & Hira Mani come together for ‘Kashf’

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Actor par excellence and one of the most dependable stars of the TV industry, Junaid Khan, would be seen with Hira Mani once again in their new serial‘Kashf’ after their recent blockbuster ‘Mohabbat Na Kariyo’ came to an end earlier this month.

The new drama stars this reel life hit couple in lead roles, who have been a fan favorite ever since their love story bloomed in ‘Sun Yaara’. After their recently concluded ‘Mohabbat Na Kariyo’, they have yet another intriguing tale coming for the audiences. ‘Kashf’ features Junaid Khan as ‘Wajdaan’- a man so madly in love with Kashf, played by Hira Mani, that he is willing to go to any extent to win her heart.

Talking about this new project, the excited Junaid Khan revealed, “Kashf is a very unique story, unlike anything I have ever done before. Playing this character was an exhilarating experience for me. Getting to work with Hira is always amazing, so we hope that you guys would love this story as well.”

‘Kashf’ has been directed by Danish Nawaz, who previously directed the duos ‘Sun Yaara’ as well. The drama is set for release on HUM Tv soon and marks as Junaid Khan’s return on the channel after the highly acclaimed ‘IshqTamasha’ in 2018. The talented star seems to have his plate full this year with his debut feature film ‘KahayDilJidhar’ also slated for release later in the year.

Entertainment

Sabaat

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The story of HUM TV’s latest play Sabaat, written by Kashif Anwar and directed by Shehzad Kashmiri is a saga of life’s greatest reality that nothing lasts forever and the only thing that stands the test of time is family, love and relations built on truth, sincerity and mutual respect. Produced under the banner of MD Productions, the story of this serial revolves around the wealthy Farid family. Meeral Farid is a young, bold and vivacious girl but she is narcissist and egocentric and wants to keep everything about life and family under her control, especially her brother Hasan Farid. Being her ‘partner in crime’, Hasan’s life is hugely influenced by Meeral’s decisions but the story takes an interesting turn when he decides to break free of the chains and rules set by his sister to pursue his dreams. What follows is an epic tale of brother-sister rivalry and Meeral’s fight against time itself.

CAST: Mawra Hussain, Osman Mukhtar, Ameer Gilani, Sarah Khan, Seemi Raheel, Syed Muhammad Ahmed, Jahanzeb, Abbas Ashraf Awan, Jaweria Kamran, Leyla Zuberi, Moazzam Ali Khan & Others.