LAHORE: The National Commission for Peace and Justice (NCPJ) organised a Youth Peace Music Festival at St. Anthony’s College on Sunday.
Young artists from different religions along with mainstream artists performed at the event conveying a message of peace and tolerance through their songs.
At least 15 young singers from different cities of Punjab performed along with two of the country’s leading bands – Overload and SYMT.
Young artists performing at the Festival were finalised and selected by a jury through their entries of peace songs.
NCJP Executive Director Cecil Shane Chaudhry said, “Music and conflict can be found in every society around the world. We believe music can help bridge these gaps and eradicate conflict by bringing people closer.” He also said that increasing violent conflicts in the world have unearthed the potential of music and other art forms to promote non-violent and peaceful ways of life among communities and countries as well.
NCJP National Director Fr. Emanuel Yousaf Mani said, “Music can create a sense of unity and has been used since time immemorial to celebrate war, hate and humiliation. Religious extremists are also using music to forward their agenda. Hence it becomes a prime responsibility of peace and music activists to bring out the positive and peaceful attributes of music.”
Solo performers from around Punjab took part in the event. Some of the musicians who performed were; Zau the Band (Lahore), Zoraiz Riaz (Lahore), Amy Hopegood, Suleman Eric (Lahore), Sagar Sohail and Annan Naukhaiz (Lahore), Moon Shelly (Gujranwala), Jassi Singh Lailpuria (Faislabad), MargratePatrus (Martin Pur ), Munnaza Maqbool and FareehaYousaf (Toba Tek Singh), Munir Manzar (Toba Tek Singh), Akram Samuel, Samuel, Adnan Micheal and Edward Justin (Stuntzabad), Aneeta Tariq (Lahore), Benish Patrass (Lahore), Youas bin Saman and Barkha John (Lahore) and Sanam Phinias (Lahore). All of them sang songs that had an inherent message of peace and tolerance and promoted human rights. Some of the songs performed at the event included Gee tAmanke Panjaray and Aman Rahat Hai, Aman Chahat Hai from NCJP’s own collection of music CDs.
NCJP Programme Coordinator, Naumana Suleman told Daily Times, “The Youth Peace Music Festival is part of a larger project called the ‘Youth For Peace Initiative’. We think that music and other forms of performing arts is a vital tool in the promotion of peace and tolerance and we need to give music a chance to help us create a better, more peaceful society.” She also stressed the need for the youth to take initiative in whatever capacity they could “especially as musicians and performers”.
The turnout at the Festival was very positive as almost 400 to 500 people from all walks of life participated in the event, including students from colleges and universities; and human rights activists.
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