Pakistan: Concert at Royal Albert Hall to raise money for quake victims

Originally published
British celebrities and artists have joined hands with Asia House here to organize a major musical concert on Dec.13 and are hoping to raise £50000 pounds for the devastating earthquake victims in Pakistan.
This was announced at a joint press conference by the Chief Executive of Asia House Stefan Kosciuszko, Chief Executive Asia Music Circuit Viram Jasani and Chairman of Learning for Life Susan Gibson at the Asia House office here on Wednesday. Pakistan's envoy to London Dr. Mlaeeha Lodhi, Baroness Flather, one of the leading British model Lisa B, a rising British Pakistani artist Sophia Hayat and Bangladeshi film star Sophia Haq were present on the occasion.

The purpose of the concert is to raise funds and create awareness across the UK that the quake had killed over 75,000 people, injured 120,000 and left 3.5 million people shelter less while a huge effort was required to reconstruct and rehabilitate the survivors.

In his brief remarks the Chief Executive of the Asia House Stefan Kosciuszko said up to 5,00 tickets had been sold and appealed to the people to buy more tickets either by calling the Albert Hall at 020 7589 8212 or by online by visiting its website

He thanked Dr. Lodhi for her support to Asia House in organizing the event and added all the proceeds of the concert would go to the President's Fund, Islamic Relief, Learning for Life and the Edhi Foundation. He said this major event will be "graced by a host of high profile dignitaries, from the worlds of politics, diplomacy, business culture and media and a glittering array of celebrities who have pledged their support to the cause."

Dr. Maleeha Lodhi who was invited by Kosciuszko to speak on the occasion expressed her thanks for this show of solidarity and compassion which she said indicated "cosmopolitan nature and spirit of London which is to help and which s to give." She gave them a quick update on the calamity. She told them each and every effort counted to rebuild the shattered lives of the victims and to give them hope for the future. She called for a sustained and long term effort for rebuilding and rehabilitating the quake-stricken areas.

Baroness Slather in her remarks on the occasion said she knew fully well the extent of destruction brought by the quake and added let us join together as a humanity to support this cause. Chief Executive of Asia Music Circuit Viram Jasani said the artists would present both classical and contemporary songs on the occasion. Those expected to perform included Ghulam Ali one of the world's most leading gazal singers, Nizami Brothers and Taufiq Niazi the Qawwali group from Old Delhi, GARAJ- Waseem Niaz, Imran Ahmed and Karam Abbas would fuse classical Pakistani sound with Western music, Sajad Ali and his Crazy Band, Faakir Kar! achi based heartthrob and King of Pop, and Ghauri Sharma would present the ancient Indian Kathak dance.

This is a very very big cause. This is a very big tragedy which is taking place" said Jasani while appealing music lovers to fill the Royal Albert Hall. Speaking on the occasion chairman of Learning for Life (LFL) Susan Gibson said the fashion show on the occasion would present culture of South Asia and its influence on the British fashion. She said this is being supported by the Monsoon Trust. LFL is a charity, set up in Britain 13 years ago as a response to the need for education, especially of girls in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, is working to set up at least 25 schools in the quake-hit areas.

British Pakistani celebrity Sophia Hyatt who became the focus of the media on the occasion told APP her she was from Abbottabad. She had also lost 17 relatives in the earthquake, she said, adding the quake videos looked to her like "a movie story and that is why it is important for me to be here." She had worked in an Indian movie Bombay Dreams and was also figuring in another British movie and was also a Bollywood star in Channel Four.