Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Details About The 'Atif Aslam & Guns N' Roses Peace Project'

The Pakistan America Peace Through Music Project
A Musical Journey to Peace, Freedom and Understanding
(A Collaboration of The Sonic Peace Makers and SHINE HUMANITY)
Pakistan America Peace Through Music Project
Mention Pakistan today and what comes to the minds of most Americans is terrorism, poverty, and hopelessness. That’s all they see in the news. But Pakistan also has one of the world’s most diverse and rich cultures, equaled only by its spectacular natural beauty as home to part of Kashmir, the Khyber Pass and high mountain peaks like K2. Once upon a time in the not so distant past, Texan gun enthusiasts brought their prized antique revolvers to Peshawar’s gun smiths to make copies, actor Robert DeNiro posed for pictures with restaurant owners while vacationing in Chitral, and Mick Jagger tested his dance skills with Lahore’s most well-known Mujra dancers. And many of Pakistan’s greatest musicians and singers like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan regularly collaborated with their counterparts in Europe and America such as Peter Gabriel and Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder.
Two decades ago, America’s leaders failed to uphold our principles and fulfill a moral obligation to help rebuild Afghanistan and assist Pakistan with the painful aftermath of the Soviet-Afghan war, which included millions of Afghan refugees who still reside in Pakistan. In stark contrast, America helped rebuild its enemies Germany and Japan after WWII, but inexplicably abandoned its friends after the war in Afghanistan, a key factor in allowing extremists to begin their destructive swarm across Afghanistan and Pakistan’s western frontier and become a grave threat to the security and stability of the entire world. But today, while the wounds are deep and the challenges are great, the forces of light and sonic harmony are again on the ascendance. Pakistan today is home not just to 11 music video channels and has one of the most innovative and vibrant music scenes anywhere in the world. A country that has produced some of the greatest sitar and tabla players is today home of some of the finest singers, guitar shredders and drummers. Music pioneers like Junoon, the godfathers of “Sufi Rock,” are joined by Qawwali rockers like Mekaal Hasan and Aaroh, indie projects like Peshawar’s Sajid and Zeeshan, and Heavy Metal innovators like Akash and Karavan. In recent years Atif Aslam has become the most successful Pop singer in all of South Asia with a growing following world-wide.
The Project:
The Pakistan America Peace Through Music Project was inspired by the work of Greg Mortenson (author of the bestseller “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones Into Schools”) and is based, among other things, on world music pioneer Manu Dibango’s declaration that musicians are “all from the same tribe” regardless of their race, nationality or religion and John Coltrane’s belief in the power of music to spread peace and harmony. Building on the millennia-long tradition of musical and cultural exchange in Pakistan and South and Central Asia more broadly, we will bring a group of leading musicians from the U.S. to Pakistan led by guitarist/producer Lanny Cordola (House of Lords, Giuffria, The Beach Boys), drummer/producer Matt Sorum (Guns n’ Roses, Velvet Revolver), singer/guitarist Todd Shea and many others for a month long musical caravan throughout the country, creating and performing with some of Pakistan’s most well known, talented and innovative artists such as Atif AslamShehzad RoyStringsArieb AzharAbda ParveenUstad Fateh Ali KhanRustam Fateh Ali KhanBeo Rana Zafar and celebrated record producer Rohail Hyatt(Vital SignsCoke Studio). The inspiring poetry of Allama Iqbal and other revered poets will be prominently featured as an artistic and cultural base for the musical collaboration. Later on in the year, the Pakistani musicians will come to the U.S. for performances and events joined by their American comrades (including members of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, Red Hot Chili Peppers, etc.), which will also include time for more song writing and recording. Both the Pakistani and American “legs” of the gathering will be filmed for a documentary. The music and film will then be completed and released for sale on CDs & DVDs.
The project’s goals will be to bring Americans and Pakistanis closer together by erasing misconceptions and raising awareness of the diversity and beauty of Pakistan and its people, ultimately revealing the commonalities between Pakistani/Muslim and American cultures, to show Americans the Pakistan they never see in the mainstream media and to support Pakistan’s courageous artistic community, as well as raise funds and awareness to help establish and equip music schools and fund innovative health and education projects across Pakistan and Afghanistan. Once the initial project has been released, the music will continue with a series of collaborations with musicians and artists from all over the world to bring people together and help people in need.
Musical fusion and celebration of diverse cultures will erase misconceptions and raise funding which will lead to a lasting positive effect on vulnerable children in developing nations, and help create a better, safer world for all Humanity
Project Message
“Music has incredible power to inspire and energize Human Beings to bridge divides and create a better world”
- Todd Shea, Chief Operating Officer
“Peace Through Music” DVD featuring members of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Lanny Cordola, Atif Aslam, Shehzad Roy, Strings, Rohail Hayat, Arieb Azhar, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Todd Shea & Many More!
Guitaristan: Where Musicians and Music Lovers Meet To Create A Better World.
About Guitaristan:
Guitaristan was conceived by accomplished rock guitarist Lanny Cordola (The Beach Boys, House of Lords, Guffria and studio guitarist for hundreds of top recording artists) and drummer Matt Sorum (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) to build cultural bridges of peace and understanding between the peoples of Pakistan, Afghanistan and America through music. Famous guitarists and recording artists from America and Pakistan will be performing their music together and promoting events to raise awareness and funds to address the needs of children in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Matt Sorum
Lanny Cordola
The Guitaristan Mission:
* Engage in wholesome, family oriented creative and artistic projects that utilize music to bring people together and wash away misconceptions.
* Provide funding to health and education projects in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
* Provide guitars and lessons to children in Pakistan and Afghanistan who wish to learn about music.
* Be respectful and mindful at all times of Islamic principles which guide the ways which music, musical instruments and social gatherings are permissible as long as the intentions are pure and in the cause of good.
The Sonic Peacemakers Music & Film Project:
The Musical Peace Project features Atif AslamAdil OmarShehzad Roy, Slash, members of Guns ‘N Roses, Velvet Revolver, Cypress Hill, Red Hot Chili Peppers and others. This is all very exciting and for a good cause.
“Adil will be rapping with Cypress Hill and other BIG surprise special guest on the Sonic Peacemakers Music and Film Project that we’re doing with some of the best Pakistani and American recording artists”, says Todd Shea.
About Todd Shea:
Todd Shea, a singer/songwriter and guitarist by profession in USA, a social worker and a humanitarian in Pakistan. He always used his music to perform humanitarian work and support charitable causes. He came to volunteer in Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake, a disaster that killed 80,000 people. Shea established a “no frills” charity hospital in Kashmir called CDRS, or Comprehensive Disaster Relief Services, which provides quality healthcare services to the people in the remote and earthquake-affected areas in northwest Pakistan. CDRS’ efforts are concentrated in Chikar, one of Pakistan’s poorest and most remote villages located about 25 miles from the Indian border with a population of about 150,000 people. He doesn’t have a college degree or a medical background, but told the Times, “I’m certainly not the most qualified person to take on the task of building…in this area at least…a revolutionary healthcare system, but I’m the one who’s here.” A musician prior to his time in Pakistan, Shea indicated that he once suffered from addiction issues. Now however, he “decided to get addicted to something that was good for other people.” In fact, Shea uses music to raise awareness about CDRS and their efforts, at one point performing at MTV’s studios in Karachi with a Pakistani musician. CDRS currently runs on $170,000 a year and served over 100,000 patients in 2008.
Todd Shea’s Message About The Project:
The project will promote peace and understanding through musical collaborations and a documentary film that will not only introduce America and the World to the great musicians and poets of Pakistan as they perform and create with some of America’s greatest musicians, but more importantly, will showcase all the wonderful attributes of Pakistan, its People and its rich culture that most Americans never see. Then, with a new perspective on Pakistan, we believe that everyday Americans will begin supporting projects which effectively bring help directly to Pakistan’s most vulnerable families and communities. After the recording session, Atif Aslam and producer Lanny Cordola met with prominent members of the Southern California Pakistani American Community at the home of Pervaiz and Almas Lodhie to introduce the project and its goals. Promoting organizations that are doing great Humanitarian work in Pakistan such as Developments In Literacy, Zindagi Trust, Greg Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute and many others, this project aims to highlight the efforts of The National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) to form partnerships with all governmental and non-governmental organizations, large and small, to work together towards ensuring that Pakistan meets the UN’s Millennium Development Goals of minimun 85% Basic Literacy by 2015.
There are significant costs associated with such a large undertaking, so we need your help to raise the funding needed to pay for the project’s production, recording, filming, mass duplication, marketing and travel expenses. Please give generously, your contributions are tax-deductible and represent an important investment in Pakistan. Thanks to Air Blue for becoming our first sponsor, donating the flights for the The Sonic Peacemakers travel in Pakistan this summer. Philanthropist Pervaiz Lodhie, Author Ethan Casey, Businessman Amin Hashwani and Professor Mark Levine are the official Ambassadors for the Sonic Peacemakers. Please note that all musicians and recording artists who are contributing their time and talents to this project are doing so completely free of charge.
Todd Shea
Shine Humanity / CDRS / Sonic Peacemakers

5 rescued as passenger plane crashes in Islamabad

5 rescued as passenger plane crashes in Islamabad ISLAMABAD: Five people have been rescued from the wreckage of a private airliner crashed at Margalla Hills early on Wednesday.

One hundred and forty-six people including 139 adults, five kids and five crewmembers were onboard whereas 12 are those lucky people who missed the flight.

According to sources, an airbus 320 bound for Islamabad departed from Karachi at 7:50 am. The local residents said plane made low flight before the crash.

Rescue operation is underway despite difficulties because of hilly location of the incident site.

Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said five wounded being shifted to hospital whereas rescue operation and search for black box is underway. The airport control tower had signaled landing approach to the plane when it was just eight kilometers away from the airport, reports said.

Passengers list of crashed flight

Passengers list of crashed flight ISLAMABAD: Private airline ‘Air Blue’ issued the list of names of passengers onboard the plane crashed in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The names of passengers are Pyar Ali, Imtiaz Ali Kurd, Syeed Shaan-E-Hussain Naqvi, Prem Chand, Hassan Javed Khan, Syed Arsalan Ahmed, Mohd. Tufail, Abdul Rehman, Mohd. Faisal Rasheed, Mohd. Ovais, Hussain Alam, Ghulam Abbas, Naveed Ilyas,Mohd. Ali Mughal
Mohd Aftab, Shireen Lodhi, Mohd. Nawab Hassan,Asim Arain ,Ali Sherazi, Mohd. Bashir,Zahid Habibi,Dr.Mirko Cvjfticanin, Asia Begum,Mohd. Umair Khan,Haji Rehmat Gul,Mohd. Saqib Rafiq Shaikh, Misha Dawood, Ali Asghar Rajab Ali, Rashida Tyeb Khan, Murtaza Tyed Khan, Malik Mohd. Yousuf, Nabeel Lutfi, Manzoor Nasir, Saleem Ahmed, Rosie Ahmed, Salauddin Syed, Hamid Javed, Mohd. Yousuf, Ata Raja, Salman Khan Bijrani, Mehran Khan Bijrani, Anwar Bibi, Gulzar Bibi, Tariq Subhan, Abdul Ghaffar, Irfan Irfan, Mohd. Sultan, Mohd. Yaseen, Gayaba Khan, Manzoor Ahmed, Masood Salam, Syed Azam, Ojam Khan, Jannat Gul, Zaintun Bibi, Waheed Ur Rehman, Mohd. Feroze, Dr. Suresh, Mohd. Asad, Amir Siddiqui, Mona Dhonki, Mehlee Dhonki, Amir Dhonki, Afshan Dhonki, Masood Kayani, Zafar Saleem, Abdul Ghani, Adnan Qayoom, Abbas Haider, Osama Ghafoor, Mohd. Zameen, Andaleeb Junaid, Abdul Raheem, Mohd. Zaid Rauf, Anwar Begum , Nusrat Begum, Ali Shah, Kamran Shah
Abdul Qayum , Maqsood Ahmed, Abdul Ghaffar, Mohd. Iqbal, Khan Zaman ,A M Nasir ,Syeda Rabab Zehra Naqvi, Ovais Bin Laiq,Bilal Jamaee , Syed Ashiq Hussain Shah, Samatar Bashir, Amer Khattaq , Hassan Naseem, Atif Rasheed, Kaneze Akhthar, Shamsul Haq, Khadim Hussain Rehmat Khan, Mirza Tahir Baig, Mohd Irfan, Malik Ghulam Hussain, Javeria Faraz, Mohd Ajmal Khan ,Sikander Hayat Awan, Mubashir Shahid, Tariq Shahid, Mr. Kamran, Mr. Saleem , Javaid Iqbal, Pervez Akhthar, Raheem Khan Rajput, Ikhlaas Khan, Aswah Gul, Ansar Abbas, Athar Iftikhar, Haji Gul Mehboob, Farooq Khan,Syed Jawad Ali, Ayesha Amir, Aliza Amir, Abu Baqr Izhar, Sapna Munawar, Farooq Nadeem, Mohd. Asif , Hassan Adeel, Abid Mehmood, Malik Muhammad Ajmal, Owais Khan, Romaisa Khan, Muhammad Saleem ,Mujahid Rehman,Aesar Ali, Tasleem Kausar, Muhammad Ibrahim ,Ghulam Rasool, Mrs Shaheen, Mrs Sabira, Mrs Gulshad, Mr Rawaha , Jehangir Khan, Ali Akber, Muhammad Rafique ,
Syed Haider Zulfiqar Shah, Muhammad Saleem Akhtar , Rizwan Ghani Khan, Amber Rizwan, Muhammad Zawar Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Muskan Rizwan, Farid Ahmed Alvi, Shamas Us Rehman Alvi, Khizer Pervaiz, Kiran Alvi, Muhammad Khalid, Asif Shehzad, Ayesha Asif, Syed Ainullah Agha, Afazal Masood, Syed Attaullah Hashmi, Waheed Shaikh, Navaid Chaudhry, 

Bullfighting could be banned in Barcelona

 MADRID: The vote on Wednesday to abolish bullfights in the northeastern autonomous region of Catalonia follows an intense campaign by animal rights activists to put an end to an "outdated and cruel" part of Spanish culture.

It has also been seized on by Catalan nationalists as a means to express independence from Madrid at a time of growing political unease between the regional and national government.

The regional government was moved to propose the vote after 180,000 Catalan citizens signed a petition circulated by anti-bullfighting group Prou! Or Enough!

The campaign has won international support, with backing from celebrities including comedian Ricky Gervais and actress Pamela Anderson, who hope it will be the first step to outlawing bullfighting all together.

"This week, the world is watching Catalonia," said Mike Baker, CEO of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) which collected a further 140,000 signatures worldwide, in support of a ban. "Local MPs have the chance to make a bold statement about the region's modern attitude by refusing to allow the continuance of this outdated and cruel practice."

Interest in Spain's "national fiesta" has waned in the region and dozens of local councils, including Barcelona, have declared over the last few years that they are officially "anti-bullfighting".

The Plaza de Toros Monumental is the last of Barcelona's three bullrings to still stage "corridas" and even it struggles to fill a third of its 19,000 seats, often attracting more tourists than locals.

The ban would only affect bullfighting and does not extend to other spectacles involving bulls such as "corre bou", where the public chase bulls through the streets and "bouembolat", which involves attaching fires to the bulls' horns. Both take place during festivals firmly considered part of Catalan culture.

The proposed ban, which would be introduced from 2012, has sparked a furious debate in a country where matadors are celebrated personalities commanding almost as much attention as the top footballers.

In an editorial published on Tuesday, centre-right daily newspaper El Mundo expressed a sentiment echoed across much of Spain – that the move had little to do with animal cruelty but had become a "political issue" in a region where the "idea is to ban everything that is Spanish".

Simon Casas, a former matador turned bullfighting promoter summed it up. "In the name of radical Catalan nationalism, they are striking a blow to the soul of the Spanish people."

Supporters of bullfighting argue that it is an important industry in Spain and claim that it generates about €2.5 billion (£2 billion) a year for the Spanish economy, or 1.5 per cent of GDP. A ban in Catalonia would cost the industry €300 million a year reportedly and put thousands out of work at a time when Spain is already struggling with 20 per cent unemployment.

Workers in the bullfighting industry have threatened to sue the Catalan authorities if the ban goes ahead arguing that it contravenes "human right legislation" by denying them a means to earn a living.

The vote in the 135-seat Catalan parliament on Wednesday morning is expected to be very close with the region's dominant two political parties, the centre right nationalist coalition CiU and the Catalan branch of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero's Socialist party, both allowing their members to vote freely.

If passed Catalonia would be the first region on Spain's mainland to introduce a ban. The Canary Islands outlawed bullfights in 1991.

Gel developed to cure tooth decay

Gel developed to cure tooth decay LONDON: A new gel being developed by French scientists may mean the end of dental fillings and, even more importantly, the dreaded dental drill. The gel, which stimulates the growth of tooth tissue, may prove a painless cure for dental decay.

"The French team mixed MSH with a chemical called poly-L-glutamic acid. This is a substance often used to transport drugs inside the body because it can survive the harsh environments, such as the stomach, that might destroy medicines before they get a chance to work.

"The mixture was then turned into a gel and rubbed on to cells, called dental pulp fibroblasts, taken from extracted human teeth. These cells are the kind that help new tooth tissue to grow.

"But until now there has been no way of 'switching' them back on once they have been destroyed by dental decay. The researchers found the gel triggered the growth of new cells and also helped with adhesion - the process by which new dental cells 'lock' together.

"This is important because it produces strong tooth pulp and enamel which could make the decayed tooth as good as new. "

MSH (melanocyte-stimulating hormone) is produced by the pituitary gland, and is known to help facilitate the growth of tooth and bone tissue.

Dental decay is caused by bacteria that live in the mouth and interact with sugar to create an acid that slowly eats away at tooth enamel. Eventually, most adults need to have dental work to repair cavities. Using fillings can be an imperfect solution, as they tend to get loose and fall out.

If and when the gel treatment becomes widely available, which some estimate to be in about three years, a new era of dental medicine will have begun. While the gel may not help people with severe tooth decay, the treatment promises to replace the drill-and-fill operation that has been standard procedure for treating cavities for decades. The process is time-consuming and painful, causing many people to avoid going to the dentist until their dental problems become extremely severe.

A gel treatment will be not only less painful and time-consuming than the drill-and-fill procedure, but potentially less expensive. That, in turn, would help to lower the cost of health care, not through government manipulation, but by technology. A quick and easy way to repair decayed teeth will have incalculable effects on the quality of life for many tens of millions of people.

Maradona set to leave Argentina post

Maradona set to leave Argentina post BUNNIES IRIS: Diego Maradona has left his post as Argentina boss after a unanimous vote from the Argentine Football Association.

Maradona had been offered a new four-year contract but said he would only continue on condition that his backroom staff remained. He met with AFA president Julio Grondona on Monday, but the differences between the parties could not be resolved.

Grondona revealed details of the talks to the board on Tuesday and AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo has now confirmed Maradona's deal will not be renewed.

"There was a big chasm that made it impossible to find an agreement," he said. "We will not renew the contract. For the match against Spain, scheduled for September 7, we may already have the new coach."

A statement on the AFA website added: "The president of the Argentinean Football Association, Julio Grondona, made the members of the executive committee aware of the conversation with Diego Maradona, setting out the points which had come out from the meeting.

"The executive committee unanimously resolved not to renew the contract with Mr Diego Maradona as coach of the Argentina national football team."

Maradona faced heavy criticism during his time in charge of the national side, with the team struggling during qualification for this summer's World Cup before exiting at the quarter-final stage with a 4-0 defeat to Germany.

Islamabad plane crash – 100 killed, several injured.

Intermittent rains continue across country

Intermittent rains continue across country KARACHI: An irregular spate of rains caused by fresh winds of monsoon are continuing to lash almost all parts of country including Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab provinces and northern areas, Geo News reported.

As usual, the cruel downpours have sent people in misery, as there is no electricity and no water in many areas, paralyzing the routine of daily life.

All the low-lying areas in Balochistan’s industrial areas namely Hub and Gadani have submerged under water whereas drains, meant for rainwater, have been flooded.

Incessant downpours have largely affected traffic on RCD Road, which links Quetta to Karachi.

At least two persons have died of electricity shocks due to rain in Karachi, police said.

Electricity failure has been reported in many parts in Hyderabad following spree of intermittent rains, which remained continued since Monday evening while low-lying areas are in flood.

The spate of monsoon rains is also continued in Badin, Dadu, Golarchi, Matli, Tandobago, Talhar and in all the rural and urbane areas located in upper Sindh.

Rains have also left electricity system suspended in Jamshoro district.

Pleasant showers have been reported in many areas in Punjab including Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Kohat, Dera Ghazi Khan, Manserah, Bala Kot and Ogi.

Unique elephant festival held in Kerala

Unique elephant festival held in Kerala NEW DELHI: ‘Gajamela’, a unique elephant festival was organised for the first time in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, as part of the National Live Stock Show.

The event witnessed a huge gathering of foreign tourists as well as the local people on Sunday.

The ‘Gajamela’ began with the feeding of different varieties of fruits and rice balls to all the elephants.

An elephant pageant was also conducted during the festival in which about 15 elephants participated.

The international tourists said that the show was an exceptional experience for them.

“It was very exciting because in Germany you see them only at the zoo and from far away. So it was very special for me to touch and feed an elephant,” said Rekina Tessmar, a German tourist.

“I have seen elephants only in zoo and circus but it’s the first time that I see them in such a procession,” said Jacques Aodres, a tourist from Switzerland.

An elephant named ‘Guruji Anandapadmanabhan’ won the pageant at ‘Gajamela’ and was selected the tallest among the participating elephants.

British band recorded 43-minute long track

British band recorded 43-minute long track LONDON: British band The Hoosiers are hoping to make the history books when they release their single Choices.

The band thinks it will be the longest pop song ever to be released as a single in the UK and longest downloaded single in history.

Fans have submitted verses for the 43-minute long track, although they will have to wait until the record is out on August 1st, to see if their lyrics made the final selection.

According to the band's manager, chosen fans will all be given writing credit on the song, but no royalties.

Two weekly offs, early shops closure to continue till Oct 31

Two weekly offs, early shops closure to continue till Oct 31 ISLAMABAD: A meeting on energy conservation presided over by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday decided to keep the practice of observing two weekly offs and closure of shops by 8 pm for another three months till October 31.

The Prime Minsiter told the meeting held here at PM Secretariat that 1500 MW electricity was saved by closure of shops by 8 PM while two weekly offs further helped in conserving 500 MW power. He said 150 million dollars were saved as a result of reduction in operational cost.

He directed that no load-shedding be undertaken during Sehr and Iftar in the holy month of Ramazan.

The Premier said 1708 MW electricity has so far been added to the national grid during the current year while 2000 MW more will be brought on line by the year end.

He pointed out that a number of challenges are being faced in bridging the demand-supply gap. Our economy suffered huge losses due to energy crisis in the country while the people had to endure torture of prolonged load-shedding, he added.