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Ahmad Zahir- Icon of Afghan Music and the heartthrob of many!

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Ahmad Zahir- Icon of Afghan Music and the heartthrob of many!

ahmad zahirBorn on 14 June 1946, Ahmad Zahir was a singer, songwriter and composer from Laghman province, Afghanistan. He was considered the Elvis Preseley of Afghanistan for his similar style of music i.e. rock and pop.

Ahmad Zahir’s father, Abdul Zahir, was a royal court doctor, minister of health and Prime Minister of Afghanistan between 1971 and 1972. He was also an influential figure during King Zahir Shah’s reign.

Zahir attended Habibia High School in the early 1960s. He played accordion in a band, which later became known as the amateur band of Habibia High School, with a group of his friends and classmates. They would perform in local concerts on special occasions like Nawruz and Afghanistan Independence Day.

Zahir worked with mentors such as Ismail Azami (saxophonist), Nangalai (trumpeter), Abdullah Etemadi (drummer), and other musicians including Salim Sarmast, Naynawaz, Taranasaz, andMas’hour Jamal. He recorded over 22 albums in the 1970s. His songs were noted for their mellifluous tone, poetic style, compelling depth, and passionate emotional evocation. His lyrics covered a wide range of subjects. Many of his songs contained autobiographical elements or political criticism of Afghanistan’s government.As a result many of his recordings were destroyed by the government.

The Zahir professionally was on the scene of Afghan Music for only 10 years at the most; however, Zahir managed to record more than 30 albums. This was and is unheard of in any music industry around the world. All of these albums were successful and widely accepted (to this date) by everyone. The kings managed to complete these recordings almost 40 years ago with almost no technology of today’s world, and all was done in live recordings. It is said the kings recorded his Arian Music Album 1 in one day, that had more than 12 songs. Zahir only recorded two music videos during his career.

Zahir died on 14 June 1979, on his 33rd birthday. There are many mixed views from critics for why he was killed, but according to his son Rishad Zahir, Zahir “was assassinated by the order of a communist general named Daud Taroon, who used one of Zahir’s best friends as an accomplice to carry out his orders”. Zahir’s political stance was at odds with the Marxist government of the timewho claimed that he had died in a car accident. Other critics state that he was shot twice by someone, who then crashed Zahir’s car on a wall, and put him inside the vehicle, pretending that he had a car accident.

A large crowd of mourners attended Zahir’s funeral in Kabul, clogging the city streets and bringing daily activities to a halt.

After his death Zahir became a national hero and his image was mythologized by the Afghan people. Because of his privileged family background, Zahir helped to establish music as a more respected profession which in turn led to the founding of The Kabul Music School in 1974.

One of his evergreen songs…

Hamash dard o hamash ranj o hamash gham
Hameen qesmat e man bod hazar rang
Hamash gushaye tanhaee nishastan
Hamash shakhae omeed o shikastan

Bacha nasho aye dil
Bacha nasho aye dil
Ishqat faramosh kun
Ta nashawi raswa
Harfe mara gosh ko
Bas ast digar bas ast diger sokhtam
Shola ra khamosh kun

Bacha nasho aye dil
Bacha nasho aye dil
Hama harf ha yaadesh raft
Hama harf ha yaadesh raft
Mohabat ha yaadesh raft
Dega bar namy garda
Dilam lanae dard ast
Dilam lanae dard ast

Hamash dard o hamash ranj o hamash gham
Hameen qesmat e man bod hazar rang
Hamash gushaye tanhaee nishastan
Hamash shakhae omeed o bureedan
Bacha nahso ay dil
Bacha nahso ay dil
Ishqat faramosh kun
Bas ast digar bas ast diger sokhtam
Shola ra khamosh kun


Tags assigned to this article:
Afghanistan artistAfghanistan musicAhmad Zahir

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  1. Rochelle
    Rochelle 9 July, 2016, 03:52

    Ahmad Zahir- Icon of Afghan Music and the heartthrob of many!

    is a wonderful item of creating.

    Reply this comment

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