Islamabad, 9 April 2023 (TDI): On April 7, 2023, the Islamabad Serena Hotel played home to a passionate Qawwali night with the renowned qawwal Ustand Asif Ali Santoo Khan.

The event was held as part of Serena Hotel’s Cultural Diplomacy project, which strives to advance tolerance and understanding among all people by fostering dialogue about diverse viewpoints and cultural appreciation.

While the visitors were offered a selection of delicious hors d’oeuvres and a range of beverages, Aziz Boolani, CEO Serena Hotels, South and Central Asia, and Wiqar Boolani greeted the attendees to the event.

Diplomats, representatives from the business community, officials from the government, and members of the media were all there as the Mehfil got underway at midnight.

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The evening served as a tribute to Sufism, with the classic melodic lyrics making the audience sway harmoniously. Sufi music was played throughout the entire night by Asif Ali Santoo to cheers and praise.

Following the Qawwali night Mehfil at Serena Hotel, the guests were treated to a lavish suhoor that included a mix of European foods and Pakistani favourites to please all tastebuds.

About Ustad Santoo

Ustad Santoo is trained by the Pakistani legend Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The presenter of the Qawwali Night is the youngest son of the famous music producer Manzoor Hussain.

Ustad Santoo’s great grandfather Mian Maula Baksh was also one of the most well-known classical singers of the subcontinent. He belongs to the internationally renowned Santoo Family, a musical lineage that dates back 350 years.

Qawwali night and Cultural diplomacy

Qawwali, a form of Sufi devotional music, has a rich history in South Asia and is enjoyed by people of different cultures and religions.

Organizations and governments may foster intercultural exchange and  cross-cultural understanding may be accomplished by holding a Qawwali night. as a cultural diplomacy initiative.

Such cultural diplomacy activities may be used to strengthen ties at individual and state level by  promoting the traditions, beliefs, and practises of different cultures, which can encourage a greater appreciation and tolerance for variety.

A Qawwali night may highlight a region’s distinctive cultural history and draw tourists from all over who are curious to experience its traditions and customs.