ISLAMABAD: The South Asian diaspora in Riyadh is gearing up to welcome two famed vocal talents from Pakistan, Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, in the Saudi capital on Oct. 25.
The news was reported in a Twitter post on Saturday, by Saudi Royal Court Adviser, Turki Alalshikh, who serves as Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority in the Kingdom.
“For our Indian and Pakistani brothers and sisters in Riyadh, Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan will be waiting for you on the 25th of October,” the post said.
For our Indian and Pakistani brothers and sisters in Riyadh
"Atif Aslam" and "Rahat Fateh Ali Khan" will be waiting for you on the 25th of October pic.twitter.com/kIVa8qQ73v
— TURKI ALALSHIKH (@Turki_alalshikh) October 19, 2019
Most recently, Aslam sang a haunting rendition of famed Pakistani Qawali master, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Wohi Khuda Hai’ on the popular music platform, Coke Studio. Since it premiered last week, the song and video has amassed 13 million views.
Aslam remains one of the most revered stars out of Pakistan’s music scene and has enjoyed immense success across the border in neighboring India as well, where the singer’s crooning voice is a favorite for Bollywood soundtracks. Pakistan and India have an almost identical spoken language.
Khan, like Aslam, is also a hugely popular artist out of Pakistan and has received similar appreciation in India where he has sung for notable films. A nephew of the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, he performed his uncle’s original song, ‘Afreen Afreen,’ in 2016, and it remains the highest viewed video out of Pakistan and Coke Studio, at 288 million views.
Both artists have frequently been praised for their talents, and the work they produce which bridges distances through music between bitter rivals Pakistan and India.
Currently, roughly 250,000 Pakistanis live in Saudi Arabia with nearly a million calling the UAE home.